The Patriot – Part 1

Posted on Jun 8, 2013


*The following was an idea I had about a a young man in Ireland just as the First World War was in its first year and one year before the Easter Rising of 1916. I thought of those that were patriots to their own country and wanted to stay and fight against the British and those that saw the bigger picture and the threat overseas in Germany and beyond.

The theme was simple; how would someone be treated by leaving the war in their own country to fight for the so-called enemy? In Ireland today the people that fought in both world wars have only recently been pardoned for their bravery and heroism although republicans there still bristle at this. I find it disgusting and very sad that they do so for If Germany had won then who knows what may have happened to Ireland after? I somehow doubt it would be as it is now. The thought sends shivers up my spine and I know I probably wouldn’t have been born if Hitler years later had succeeded in invading Britain for Ireland would have been his next stop for strategic purposes. My Granddad would not have made it to England for work and met my Nan and they would not have had kids so ergo I would not have been born.

This poem is the first in a trilogy with the same character and is about the dark side of patriotism but make of it what you will. I hope that you like them and feel his pain, his confusion and his revelations on his journey through the choices he made.

Beanneacht de ort!

Picture courtesy of

Picture courtesy of

Torn between two wars
he wonders which so to fight
Does he fight against his oppressors
or with them against a greater might?

War at home or war across the seas
confusion reigns the land he loves
He sees the fear in people’s eyes
but in others he sees easy blood

The land of his fathers is strong
in him and all he does and shall do
Running through his veins thickly so
sang in song wherever he goes

The threat is now everywhere
he sees it at home and across the ocean
He weighs it up, the pro’s and cons
war here or there will always go on

People from across the water are on his land
four hundred years they have been
Fighting much longer though, two thousand years
so much sorrow and bloodshed he’s seen

What does he do in the midst of war
one far greater that affects them all
Eventually he knows it’ll reach his home
should he take up his enemies call?

He thinks of his enemy he’s known so long
puts himself in their position, but tries
Knows that the average person has family too
that their children and wives do for them cry

He knows if he fights for them, traitor he’ll be
called even worse anyway, but this will cut him deep
But if he stays then what will happen here?
to those he loves, to the country he again he may never see

The war across the ocean has been going on for a year
he reads stories of the young killed senselessly
They signed up little knowing what for
coin and food for family, reason to kill mercilessly

His countrymen are being shot here and there
freedom fighters here, for a bigger freedom overseas
But his compatriots don’t see it this way
war in their country is all that seems to be

Picture courtesy of

Picture courtesy of

Again he knows if the war in Europe is lost
then no green fields will he ever see
For the larger threat will doom them all
and crush their rebellion like they never believed

Deep in his heart, he knows what he must do
even if it goes against all he holds dear
Family and friends may call him what they like
but it’s them he’s saving from something they should all fear

With thoughts of the 1998 lost
just off Kinsale’s Old Head fair
Tears fall for the terrible cost
taken by a German U-Boat there

So off he goes to sign up for a King
someone he reviles and all he is
But he knows he’s doing the right thing
as he signs his name for an enemy of his…

*I hope you enjoyed the first part and will read on. You can read up on the basics at the following links:

For information of Ireland in 1914 please click here
For information on the Lusitania please click here

Posted in: Poetry