Saturday, September 01, 2007



ROGER CASEMENT : born September 1, 1864, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland , put to death August 3, 1916, London, England .

Roger Casement.
by William Butler Yeats.

I SAY that Roger Casement
Did what he had to do.
He died upon the gallows,
But that is nothing new.

Afraid they might be beaten
Before the bench of Time,
They turned a trick by forgery
And blackened his good name.

A perjurer stood ready
To prove their forgery true;
They gave it out to all the world,
And that is something new;

For Spring Rice had to whisper it,
Being their Ambassador,
And then the speakers got it
And writers by the score.

Come Tom and Dick, come all the troop
That cried it far and wide,
Come from the forger and his desk,
Desert the perjurer's side;

Come speak your bit in public
That some amends be made
To this most gallant gentleman
That is in quicklime laid.

(From here)

Roger Casement rarely receives a mention when it comes to the writers and poets of 1916 and yet his reports from the Putumayo and from the Congo show a writer of great talent. His descriptions of the horrendous brutality inflicted on innocent and perfectly peaceful native inhabitants was enough to force a change of policy with regard to the treatment of workers and slaves on the rubber plantations. Casement wrote in 1911 that "The robbery of Ireland since the Union has been so colossal, carried out on such a scale, that if the true account current between the two countries were ever submitted to any impartial tribunal England would be clapped in jail." Besides his obvious wit he managed to write some serious and emotive rhyme including his poem Parnell:

" Of unmatched skill to lead by pathways rife

With danger and dark doubt, where slander's knife

Gleamed ever bare to wound, yet over all

He pressed triumphant on- lo, thus to fall."

(From here)

We Irish have long memories - we need to have , with , so far, over eight centuries of recorded history to pass on to future generations...
The '1169...' Team .