Denis J Foley Poems


To my cousin Rev. J.J.Pigott, on the occasion of his ordination to the Priesthood at Maynooth on Dec 10th 1916

"Thou art a Priest forever!"
How sweet the contemplation;
With heart aflame with pride and joy,
I send my felicitations.
To thee upon this happy day,
Whereon thy life's aim's realised,
The laurels now bedeck thy brow,
Favoured they who gained such prize.

Marked out art thou by the Most High,
One of his chosen few;
In his vineyard with love and zeal,
Thy labours to pursue.
Upon this sphere of sin and woe,
Poor mortal's souls to save;
And guide them to the Heavenly home,
Of bliss-beyond the grave.

O, sweet thy choice to labour thus,
For Him who was crucified;
Aye! He has deigned within thy heart,
Forever to abide.
Long may thy days in His service be,
Great must be the reward,
That may thee await, 'yon the Golden Gate,
In the mansion of the Lord.

( Additional verse on his leaving for Salonika )

Now thou art leaving thy dear native Isle,
To that distant clime afar;
May he whom thou serveth nobly well,
E'er be thy guiding star.
Oh Heaven guard you ever dear Sogarth kind,
Waft your barque to Grauna's shore ;
Where " cead mele failte" you shall find,
In the Ireland you adore.

Denis J. Foley,
27 -----1-----1917 ... ..

Dead on the Battlefied

Upon the bloodstained sod he fell,
Midst the battles din and thunder
And in trembling words his comrades tell,
How he fought e`er he went under.
Outnumbered alas! were the Munsters tried,
As the foe pressed fiercely onwards
And many a hero there bravely died
Yet boldly they pushed onwards.

Fired with true heroic Celtic zeal.
They leap upon the rampart;
Of the foeman`s trench-now steel meets steel,
And stilled is many a true heart.
Yet the foremost in thefray is he,
Leading on to death or glory
He falls, alas! mid wars revelry,
But his deed shall live in story.

He gave his life as a sacrifice
A hero`s end he sought;
In a warrior`s grave at rest he lies,
Of woe or strife knowing nought.
Though the warring hosts bove him tread,
They'll not disturb his rest,
He's numbered with the countless dead.
His spirit`s mong the Blest

In a peaceful vale in Eire o,er the foam
Dwell sorrowing hearts today,
They mourn for him who in foreign loam,
Is mould`ring to decay.
For far from the Isle he would die to free,
And kindred dust, he`s laid,
Behind-the lines, in yon lone cemetery,
'Neath lofty pine tree`s shade.

Denis J. Foley.

Addressed to the Rev.C.S.Sheehan

On the grim and bloody battlefield,
With solemn step he treads;
Unmindful of the cannon's roar,
And the shrapnel flying o'erhead.
He heareth naught save the dying cry,
Of some stricken mortal there.
As he bends above the prostate form,
And utters a silent prayer.

Now he pleads for him who is nearing death,
Who will soon find lasting Peace,
In the Bright Beyond where all is Bliss,
And strife-for him will cease,
The God of Battles the good priest implores,
To guide this troubled soul,
While oft the maxims belch and roar,
And Death claims unending toll.

Oh! Soggarth brave of the Celtic race,
True worker in his vineyard;
In the Master's footsteps to wander on,
Faithful soldier of the Lord.
Thy days are young in his service, yes!
But thy work a hundredfold;
Beareth fruit, as to His Kingdoms Blest,
You safely steereth each wandering soul.

Out there 'mid the slain on the sodden plain,
'Mid the shifting smoke and shell,
Where mortal man has inhuman grown,
And earth is but a hell;
There 'mid the strife and the passions fierce,
That enwrapps each warring mind;
You teach them tread the rightful path
There endless peace to find;

Heaven guard you ever, oh! Soggarth, bold-
Yea your life you'd freely give;
If but one weary soul to save-
Yes! you'd die that he might live!
From dire dark fate, oh, Lord, we Pray,
Preserve this heroic heart;
Who in the deadly strife 'gainst sin,
Will nobly play his part...
Denis J. FoleY,
Glounecomane. 27 ----12----1916. .. .. 

Or last Verse Thus

Sleep well all ye who slumber here,
Your sorrows long are o'er;
In blissful peace you now sojourn,
Upon the Eternal shore.
When Natures debt, I too must pay,
And quit this vale of woe;
An humble grave is all I crave,
In the Churchyard of Kilmabo

D. J Foley. 


Oh, see on yonder smiling hill,
Ribbed in natures brightest sheen,
A clump of beech and elm tall,
Bedeck'd with leaves of green.
Neath their broad and lofty spreading boughs,
In their cold graves below,
Lie the dead who take their long last sleep,
In silent Kilmabo.

'Mong kindred dust they are at rest,
Free from all earthly care,
Though mayhap of this world's sorrows,
They bravely bore their share'
Now all is o'er * at Death's summons dire,
They fled this vale of woe,
In slumber quiet they now repose,
In ancient Kilmabo.

There to await the fateful hour,
When Michael's trumpet sounds,
O'er land and sea-through the universe,
The last great call resounds.
It bids the dead again arise
From their cold graves below,
May they then stand on His right hand,
Who sleeps in Kilmabo.

Oh Kilmabo, lone Kilmabo,
Home of the silent dead;
What sense of awe enwraps mY soul,
And fills my heart with dread,
Of mortals farg when death's embrace,
Lays weary mankind low,
When dust to dust they must return,
As in ancient Kilmabo'

Fond kindred dear are sleeping here,
Amid its crumbling clay,
A Parent fond and kind and true,
Is there mouldering in decay.
When he was laid in his cold tomb,
My anguish great did grow,
And my memory dwells unceasinglY,
Round his grave in Kilmabo.

'Bove his silent tomb in summer's bloom,
The stately ash doth wave;
And the gentle zephyrs softly croon,
Sweet requiems o'er his grave.
In winter's gloom when blows the blast,
And thickly falls the snow,
They sweetly shade that hallowed spot,
In silent Kilmabo.

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