Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Return from Ireland

We all arrived safely home several weeks ago, but I've been rather short on time lately. We stopped first in Dublin, which for me was rather miserable. I woke up the morning we left home with an earache, which was made worse by the long flight. I practically lived off of pain-killers during our Dublin stay, which I detest to do, but simply couldn't avoid.

My cousins had a great time, which makes me most happy for them and most sorry for myself. Though we don't live very far apart I don't get to see them very often, and I was looking forward to having over a week to spend with them.

Instead I spent a good deal of time at the hotel in bed, but I did get to go out and see a few of the sights. Thank goodness for scarves! I'd wrap one around my head every time I went out to keep the winds away from my ears. The one day I did go out without one, my ears punished me most cruelly for it.

All my Dublin pictures were taken from the top of a rather wildly-swaying tour bus, so they aren't nearly as properly positioned as I would like them to be... yet they convey the general idea.

Two things delighted me beyond all else: seeing the GPO and the monument of O'Connell.

To see the bullet-holes in the walls and pillars of the building was a tremendously moving sight. I cannot see the GPO without thinking of Joseph Mary Plunkett, a poet who fought in the GPO and is remembered in the moving song Grace. He and Grace Gifford were married a few hours before his execution. The song borrows a line from one of his own poems:

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice -- and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

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