Hate

James Stephens was an Irish Republican and the founding member of an originally unnamed revolutionary organisation in Dublin on 17 March 1858, later to become known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood, also referred to as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood by contemporaries.






My enemy came nigh,
And I
Stared fiercely in his face.
My lips went writhing back in a grimace,
And stern I watched him with a narrow eye.
Then, as I turned away, my enemy,
That bitter heart and savage, said to me:
"Some day, when this is past,
When all the arrows that we have are cast,
We may ask one another why we hate,
And fail to find a story to relate.
It may seem then to us a mystery
That we should hate each other."
 
  Thus said he,
And did not turn away,
Waiting to hear what I might have to say,
But I fled quickly, fearing had I stayed
I might have kissed him as I would a maid.

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