January 25, 2011

The coils of rope, the nets, the old brown sails...

THE HARBOUR

I think if I lay dying in some land
Where Ireland is no more than just a name,
My soul would travel back to find that strand
From whence it came.

I'd see the harbour in the evening light,
The old men staring at some distant ship,
The fishing boats they fasten left and right
Beside the slip.

The sea-wrack lying on the wind-swept shore,
The grey thorn bushes growing in the sand,
Our Wexford coast from Arklow to Cahore -
My native land.

The little houses climbing up the hill
Sea daises growing in the sandy grass,
The tethered goats that wait large -eyed and still
To watch you pass.

The women at the well with dripping pails,
Their men colloguing by the harbour wall,
The coils of rope, the nets, the old brown sails,
I'd know them all.

And then the Angelus - I'd surely see
The swaying bell against a golden sky,
So God, WHO KEPT THE LOVE OF HOME IN ME
Would let me die.

    -- Winifred Letts

Posted by John Weidner at January 25, 2011 7:28 AM
Weblog by John Weidner