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Irish Poem: Mise Éire – I am Ireland By Pádraic Mac Piarais

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This poem was written by Patrick Henry Pearse (Pádraic Mac Piarais), 1879–1916. 

It is a powerful poem. It comes in at number 96 on the top 100 Irish poems list. Pearse was featured four times in the top 100 list. Pádraic Mac Piarais wrote this poem hoping for a united Ireland free from British rule. He joined (1913) the Irish Volunteers and commanded the Irish forces in the Easter Rebellion of 1916. Upon his surrender, he was tried by a court-martial in England and promptly executed. 

His other poems, the fool and the Wayfarer(written the night before he was executed), are also incredible poems worth reading. 

The poem on the left is the original written in Irish, and the translated version is on the right. 

United Ireland poem by Padraic Pearse

Mise Éire – I am Ireland

Pádraic Mac Piarais (1879–1916)
Mise Éire:
Sine mé ná an Chailleach* Bhéarra
Mór mo ghlóir:
Mé a rug Cú Chulainn cróga.Mór mo náir:
Mo chlann féin a dhíol a máthair.

Mór mo phian:
Bithnaimhde do mo shíorchiapadh.

Mór mo bhrón:
D’éag an dream inar chuireas dóchas.

Mise Éire:
Uaigní mé ná an Chailleach* Bhéarra.


I am Ireland:
I am older than the old woman* of Beare.
Great my glory:
I who bore Cuchulainn, the brave.Great my shame:
My own children who sold their mother.

Great my pain:
My irreconcilable enemy who harasses me continually…

Great my sorrow
That crowd, in whom I placed my trust, died.

I am Ireland:
I am lonelier than the old woman* of Beare.

What did you think about this powerful Irish poem? Comment below and let us know. 

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Elizabeth Burns

Saturday 11th of June 2022

It is such a sad poem, it made me cry, but thank you for providing it to us! I was born in Dublin in 1949 and remember well the 50 anniversary, I was also back in Dublin with my sisters in 2016! I am Ireland ☘️💚☘️