He is dead. Our Uncrowned King is dead


The Death of Parnell

6th October, 1891

He cleared his throat once or twice and then began to recite:

He is dead. Our Uncrowned King is dead.
O, Erin, mourn with grief and woe
For he lies dead whom the fell gang
Of modern hypocrites laid low.

He lies slain by the coward hounds
He raised to glory from the mire:
And Erin’s hopes and Erin’s dreams
Perish upon her monarch’s pyre.

In palace, cabin or in cot
The Irish heart where’er it be
Is bowed with woe—for he is gone
Who would have wrought her destiny.

He would have had his Erin famed,
The green flag gloriously unfurled,
Her statesmen, bards and warriors raised
Before the nations of the world.

He dreamed (alas, ‘twas but a dream!)
Of Liberty: but as he strove
To clutch that idol, treachery
Sundered him from the thing he loved.

Shame on the coward, caitiff hands
That smote their Lord or with a kiss
Betrayed him to the rabble-rout
Of fawning priests—no friends of his!

May everlasting shame consume
The memory of those who tried
To befoul and smear th’exalted name
Of one who spurned them in his pride!

He fell as fall the mighty ones,
Nobly undaunted to the last,
And death has now united him
With Erin’s heroes of the past.

No sound of strife disturb his sleep!
Calmly he rests: no human pain
Or high ambition spurs him now
The peaks of glory to attain.

They had their way: they laid him low.
But Erin, list, his spirit may
Rise, like the Phoenix from the flames,
When breaks the dawning of the day,

The day that brings us Freedom’s reign.
And on that day may Erin well
Pledge in the cup she lifts to Joy
One grief—the memory of Parnell.

    Mr. Hynes sat down again on the table. When he had finished his recitation there was a silence and then a burst of clapping: even Mr. Lyons clapped. The applause continued for a little time. When it had ceased all the auditors drank from their bottles in silence.

James Joyce. Ivy Day in the Committee Room (pages 114-116)

October 6th is Ivy Day, the commemoration of the death of Charles Stewart Parnell who died in 1891 and the story centres around Parnell and his downfall, and finishes with this poem..

I ran to Glasnevin Cemetery to pass Parnell’s grave but also to look at the grave of James Joyce’s parents, John Stanislaus Joyce (of Cork) 1849 -1939 and Mary Jane (of Dublin) 1859 – 1903

The two graves are on opposite sides of a path from each other, both a short distance from the main entrance. You can see Parnell’s grave on the left of this Google Street View Image and the Joyce Family plot on the right

There is a lot of information on the Glasnevin Trust Website here. A brief article on the family, complete with Patrick Tuohy’s portrait of John Stanislaus Joyce is hereand a most interesting .pdf from the Glasnevin trust can be viewed and downloaded here

Several of Joyce’s siblings are buried in the plot and I will expand on this in a further post.


Joyce, J. (2006) Dubliners, Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Edited by Margot Norris, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

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