Pádraig Pearse walked from his cell to the execution ground with an easy step, and without betraying any emotion; with the same calmness and deliberation which he was wont to show when mounting a public platform. His face was untroubled; serenity of soul and strength of spirit were equally reflected in his looks. That supreme moment seemed of little importance for him; as if it merely marked another step forward in his career. Death would be important only after the volley which would assure him the twofold immortality: that of the Christian entering the eternal communion of God, that of the patriot taking premier rank among the heroes of his nation.
In this grey morning wrapped in mist and rain,
You stood erect beneath the sullen sky,
A heart which held its peace and noble pain,
A brave and gentle eye.
The last of all your silver songs are sung,
Your fledgling dreams on broken wings are dashed—
For suddenly a tragic sword was swung,
And ten true rifles crashed.
By one who walks aloof in English ways
Be this high word of praise and sorrow said:
He lived in honour all his lovely days,
And is immortal, dead!