James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 4


By Aubrey T. De Vere (1814–1902)

  • An Irish orator and statesman who died on June 4, 1820.

  • GOD works through man, not hills or snows!

    In man, not men, is the godlike power;

    The man, God’s potentate, God foreknows;

    He sends him strength at the destined hour.

    His spirit he breathes into one deep heart;

    His cloud he bids from one life depart;

    A Saint!—and a race is to God re-born!

    A Man!—one man makes a nation’s morn!

    A man, and the blind land by slow degrees

    Gains sight! A man, and the deaf land hears!

    A man, and the dumb land like wakening seas

    Thunders low dirges in proud, dull ears!

    One man, and the People, a three days’ corse,

    Stands up, and the grave-bands fall off perforce;

    One man, and the nation in height a span

    To the measure ascends of the perfect man.

    Thus wept unto God the land of Eire;

    Yet there rose no man, and her hope was dead;

    In the ashes she sat of a burned-out fire,

    And sackcloth was over her queenly head.

    But a man in her latter days arose;

    A deliverer stepped from the camp of her foes;

    He spake; the great and the proud gave way,

    And the dawn began which shall end in day!