O’Neill’s Cavalcade


It takes the bones of a lifetime to learn to play,
To probe your way into the soul of the tune,
To show the notes enough respect to open up
So that a line of ninety-nine ghosts march forth:

The retreating chieftain and his cavalcade,
The moonlit ships, their white sails raised:
With unbowed swagger, vowing to return,
Defiant exiles gaze back at a shrinking land.


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