Patrick Kavanagh

Inscription For The Tomb Of The Unknown Warrior

Passers-by on this Bridge of your charity
Forget that my least sin was my vulgarity,
For underneath the motley I affected
A nasty piece of goods might be detected.
Sometimes I assumed the role of clown
With the intention of knocking talent down,
Or with a fund of anecdotal wit,
Parroted from all sources, I was It.
Genius if it happened to appear
I raddle-marked with some belittling smear.
The technique I employed to blast the serious
Was laugh it in the face, go quite delirious.
If someone were to say "God's good" I'd answer,
"His tongue is in his cheek, the bloody chancer"
When another ventured to speculate 
Too earnestly about man's ultimate fate
To his cunning peasant background did I draw
Attention with an organised "Haw haw"
That rascal who deserted pick and shovel,
"Ephemeral trash" was what he called my novel.
When the friends of Cicil Liberty I joined
He said all liberty was in the mind
And that it would be hard from any section
To pick a more illiberal collection.

Forgive the temper that I seem to show
In this long aside about my final foe.
He said a pea-sized thought would burst my gizzard - 
I ultimately perished in his blizzard.

All that I did while posing as a man
Was dictated by a enuch's [sic] bitter plan.
But I am dead, pray God that so I stay,
And Dublin free to be sincere and gay.
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