I shall not die for thee

Douglas Hyde 1860 (Castlerea, County Roscommon) – 1949 (Little Ratra, Phoenix Park, Dublin)

FOR thee, I shall not die,
 Woman of high fame and name;
Foolish men thou mayest slay
 I and they are not the same.
 
Why should I expire
 For the fire of an eye,
Slender waist or swan-like limb,
 Is't for them that I should die?
 
The round breasts, the fresh skin,
 Cheeks crimson, hair so long and rich;
Indeed, indeed, I shall not die,
 Please God, not I, for any such.
 
The golden hair, the forehead thin,
 The chaste mien, the gracious ease,
The rounded heel, the languid tone,—
 Fools alone find death from these.
 
Thy sharp wit, thy perfect calm,
 Thy thin palm like foam o' the sea;
Thy white neck, thy blue eye,
 I shall not die for thee.
 
Woman, graceful as the swan,
 A wise man did nurture me.
Little palm, white neck, bright eye,
 I shall not die for ye.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Douglas Hyde

Douglas Ross Hyde (Irish: Dubhghlas de hÍde), known as An Craoibhín Aoibhinn (lit. "the pleasant little branch"), was an Irish academic, linguist, scholar of the Irish language, politician and diplomat who served as the first President of Ireland from June 1938 to June 1945. He was a leading figure in the Gaelic revival, and the first President of the Gaelic League, one of the most influential cultural organisations in Ireland at the time. more…

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"I shall not die for thee" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 6 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/8307/i-shall-not-die-for-thee>.

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