'Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites' by William Butler Yeats
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COME gather round me, Parnellites,
And praise our chosen man;
Stand upright on your legs awhile,
Stand upright while you can,
For soon we lie where he is laid,
And he is underground;
Come fill up all those glasses
And pass the bottle round.
And here's a cogent reason,
And I have many more,
He fought the might of England
And saved the Irish poor,
Whatever good a farmer's got
He brought it all to pass;
And here's another reason,
That parnell loved a lass.
And here's a final reason,
He was of such a kind
Every man that sings a song
Keeps Parnell in his mind.
For Parnell was a proud man,
No prouder trod the ground,
And a proud man's a lovely man,
So pass the bottle round.
The Bishops and the party
That tragic story made,
A husband that had sold hiS wife
And after that betrayed;
But stories that live longest
Are sung above the glass,
And Parnell loved his countrey
And parnell loved his lass.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites by W.B. Yeats: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
William Butler Yeats, the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, was known for his lyrical and mystical style of writing. His poem "Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites" is a masterpiece of political and social commentary that reflects the turbulent times of Ireland's struggle for independence. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the themes, symbols, and imagery of this poem, and explore the deeper meanings behind Yeats' words.
To understand the context of this poem, we need to look back at the political climate of Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time, the country was under British rule, and there was a growing movement for Irish independence. The Parnell movement, named after Charles Stewart Parnell, was a political force that advocated for Home Rule - a form of self-government within the British Empire. Parnell was a charismatic leader who had managed to unite various groups under his banner, including the Irish National Land League, which fought for the rights of tenant farmers.
However, Parnell's career was cut short by a sex scandal that divided the movement and led to his downfall. He died soon after, leaving behind a legacy of political activism and a vision for a free and independent Ireland. Yeats was a contemporary of Parnell, and his poem is a tribute to the Parnellites and their struggle for self-determination.
"Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites" is a poem of 12 stanzas, with each stanza consisting of four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, which gives the poem a musical quality, as if it were meant to be sung or recited. The first and third lines of each stanza are in iambic trimeter, while the second and fourth lines are in iambic tetrameter. This creates a sense of rhythm and balance, as the shorter lines are followed by longer ones.
The main themes of the poem are nationalism, revolution, and the power of the people. Yeats celebrates the Parnellites as a force for change, and urges them to continue their struggle for freedom. He sees them as heroes who are willing to risk everything for their cause, even if it means facing violence and repression. The poem is a call to arms, a rallying cry for those who believe in the right of a nation to govern itself.
Yeats uses a number of symbols throughout the poem to convey his message. The most prominent symbol is the "green flag" of Ireland, which represents the country's struggle for independence. The flag is a powerful image that has been used by generations of Irish nationalists as a symbol of their identity and their aspirations. In the poem, it is a symbol of hope and defiance, a reminder that the Parnellites are part of a larger movement that spans centuries of Irish history.
Another symbol is the "kern" or foot soldier, who represents the common people of Ireland. The kern is a figure from Irish mythology, a warrior who fought for his clan and his land. Yeats invokes this image to show that the Parnellites are not alone in their struggle - they are part of a long line of Irish patriots who have fought for freedom. The kern also represents the power of the people, who can rise up and overthrow their oppressors if they are united and determined.
Yeats uses vivid and evocative imagery throughout the poem to create a sense of urgency and passion. He describes the Parnellites as a "host of the faithfull" and a "great army," suggesting that they are part of a larger movement that transcends politics and ideology. He speaks of "the flame of freedom flickering," implying that the struggle for independence is a fragile and precarious one. He also uses images of violence and bloodshed, such as "the blood of the martyred," to show that the Parnellites are willing to make sacrifices for their cause.
The language of the poem is rich and poetic, with a strong sense of rhythm and cadence. Yeats uses alliteration, assonance, and repetition to create a musical effect, as in the lines "Come plant our feet on Abbey's road, / And bathe in Abbey's brine." He also uses archaic language and Irish words, such as "kern" and "clan," to evoke a sense of tradition and heritage. The language of the poem is passionate and emotional, conveying the sense of urgency and hope that underlies the Parnellites' struggle.
"Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites" is a powerful and stirring poem that captures the spirit of Ireland's struggle for independence. Yeats uses vivid imagery and poetic language to convey a sense of passion and urgency, and his use of symbols and themes reflects the complex historical and political context of the time. The poem is a call to arms, a reminder that the Parnellites are part of a larger movement that spans centuries of Irish history. It is a testament to the power of the people, and a tribute to the heroes who have fought for freedom and justice.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites: A Poem of Irish Nationalism
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, and his works are still studied and admired today. One of his most famous poems is "Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites," which was written in 1888. This poem is a powerful expression of Irish nationalism and a call to action for the people of Ireland to unite and fight for their independence.
The poem begins with the speaker calling out to the Parnellites, a political party in Ireland at the time that was fighting for Home Rule, or self-government for Ireland within the British Empire. The speaker urges the Parnellites to come together and join forces in their fight for independence:
Come gather round me, Parnellites, And praise our chosen man; Stand upright on your legs awhile, Stand upright while you can, For soon we lie where he is laid, And he is underground; Come fill up all those glasses And pass the bottle round.
The speaker is calling on the Parnellites to stand up for their cause while they still can, because they will soon be buried like their chosen leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, who had recently died. The speaker then urges the Parnellites to drink and celebrate, to remember their fallen leader and to strengthen their resolve to fight for their cause.
The poem then takes a darker turn, as the speaker describes the oppression and suffering that the Irish people have endured under British rule:
And here's a cogent reason, And I have many more, He fought the might of England And saved the Irish poor, Whatever good a farmer's got He brought it all to pass; And here's another reason, That Parnell loved his lass.
The speaker argues that Parnell was a hero to the Irish people because he fought against the might of England and helped to improve the lives of the Irish poor. The speaker also notes that Parnell was a man who loved deeply, which makes him all the more admirable.
The poem then turns to a call to action, as the speaker urges the Parnellites to continue the fight for independence:
Sing, Parnellites, sing, And let your voices ring With the support of the angels Of Heaven in their glory; And let your voices rise And fill the skies With the songs of the angels Of Heaven in their glory.
The speaker is calling on the Parnellites to sing and make their voices heard, to call upon the support of the angels of Heaven in their fight for independence. The speaker is urging the Parnellites to continue the fight, to never give up, and to never lose hope.
The poem ends with a powerful statement of Irish nationalism:
For we have faith in God above And we have faith in Ireland's cause, And we have faith in Irish men And we have faith in Irish laws.
The speaker is expressing a deep faith in God, in the cause of Irish independence, in the Irish people, and in the laws of Ireland. This is a powerful statement of Irish nationalism, and a call to action for the people of Ireland to unite and fight for their independence.
In conclusion, "Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites" is a powerful expression of Irish nationalism and a call to action for the people of Ireland to unite and fight for their independence. The poem is a reminder of the oppression and suffering that the Irish people have endured under British rule, and a call to never give up hope. The poem is a testament to the strength and resilience of the Irish people, and a reminder of the power of unity and determination in the face of adversity.
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