Michael Davitt (1846-1906)

Do not take a side he said

He now growing old

Not like when he was young

Wanting to be bold

 

Evicted from his home a child

Left his native land

Lost an arm in a factory

Words now his command

 

Planned to fight for freedom

Imprisoned for his pains

Seven long years he suffered there

Suffering can bring gains

 

All his life an activist

The poor man to uphold

Politics and the power of pen

Guns leave people cold

 

Sitting for a portrait

Days now getting short

Gives advice to painter

How battles should be fought

 

Take no side he tells him

Live in this world and learn

How to savour beauty

To every one his turn

 

Injustice calls for action

Young men’s blood runs hot

But anger only leads to death

Violence is rot

 

The boy who lost his home so young

Was given a cottage back

A gift from those who followed him

Out in Ballybrack

 

That first injustice back in Straide

Set him on the road

He became a freedom fighter

He carried the poor man’s load

 

The painter told the story

Of Michael Davitt’s view

How life had brought him wisdom

We must do what we can do

 

Brian Fahy

20 September 2022

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