“And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes”

This morning we heard the sad news of the passing of young Donal Walsh of Tralee. Donal’s moving story – mostly in his own words –  appeared here some several weeks ago after he made the country stop and listen to his pleas to his own generation to wake up and fight against the plague of suicide.

Donal, who would have celebrated his seventeenth birthday in just a month’s time died on the evening of the Feast of the Ascension. May he rest in peace. His bravery, his courage and his practical idealism was an inspiration to his own and every other generation. In what he did and wrote and spoke about he has left a legacy of remarkable value for a boy of just sixteen years of age. One follower of Garvan Hill described the post with Donal’s story as the best he had ever read among the 200 or so posts on the blog.

The words of John Milton in Lycidas,  his elegy for his friend Edward King,  seem appropriate for the occasion of Donal’s last climb up the monntains in his journey on this earth.

Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,

For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,

Sunk though he be beneath the wat’ry floor;

So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,

And yet anon repairs his drooping head,

And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore

Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:

So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high

Through the dear might of him that walk’d the waves;

Where, other groves and other streams along,

With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,

And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,

In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.

There entertain him all the Saints above,

In solemn troops, and sweet societies,

That sing, and singing in their glory move,

And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.

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