Requiem for the Croppies

Requiem for the Croppies by Seamus Heaney is a famous poem in Ireland about Irish nationalism and the rebellion of 1798.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
Seamus Heaney

The poem has even been and has been used for IRA propaganda. Here is a short BBC video with Kirsty Wark interviewing Seamus Heaney about the poem.

Requiem for the Croppies by Seamus Heaney. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Requiem for the Croppies

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley…
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp…
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching… on the hike…
We found new tactics happening each day:
We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until… on Vinegar Hill… the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August… the barley grew up out of our grave.

Requiem for the Croppies by Seamus Heaney. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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