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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.

by Seamus Heaney
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