Whom did the poet meet at the close of the day in "Easter 1916"?

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In "Easter 1916," the speaker mentions the rebels he used to meet at the close of day, or in the evening, after they presumably were leaving their workplaces. The rebels were part of an armed rebellion in Dublin that rallied together to oppose British rule and start a new Irish Republic. They were just normal people for the most part, as the speaker says in this first stanza: laborers, common workers, and passionate, political free thinkers. In the end, they were executed. As the first four lines of the poem explain, the speaker remembers their "vivid faces" emerging from behind "counters" or "desks" among the "grey, eighteenth-century houses" of Yeats's own Dublin neighborhood: "I have met them at close of day/Coming with vivid faces/From counter or desk among grey/Eighteenth-century houses." These normal, hardworking people, who soon became brave rebels, were not initially respected by the speaker.


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