Denis J Foley Poems

The Battle of the Somme

'Tis but a little rustic cross,
Above a new- made grave,
'Mid reeds and grasses tall, it stands,
While o'er it pine-trees sadly wave.
But few the words a comrade true,
Inscribed this symbol on;
"Pray for Pte. F-of the-Fusiliers.
Killed at the Battle of the Somme.

What meaning dire and mournful,
Might those brief words convey,
To loving friends who were left behind,
In Erin far away.
To parents dear, brothers, sisters true,
Or mayhap a sweetheart fond;
Aye! each will mourn him who fell,
At the Battle of the Somme.

Imbued with the spirit of his race,
He perished 'mid war's cruel din.
A victim 'mong the thousands slain,
Of bold and valiant men.
Who ere the struggle fierce was o'er,
Their crown of glory won.
And valiant deeds accomplished,
By the Battle of the Somme.

In foreign soil he calmly sleeps,
From kindred dust apart,
But sweet thoughts of him will long abide,
Within many a loving heart.
Who grieves and mourn this warrior true,
Whose earthly course is run.
By the 'vengeful foe he was laid low,
At the Battle of the Somme.

Oh! great the toll dear Erin's thine,
In this dread carnage vile,
Thy best and bravest have freely shed,
Their blood on a foreign soil.
Shall it be in vain - freedom's dawn acclaim,
When the fight is fought-and won;
Shall Erie's warriors bold, to a free Isle return,
From Mame, Meuse, and Somme.

Denis J Foley,
Glounecomane.
21-12-1916. 

The Isle of the West

God bless thee, dear Erin, my own beloved Isle,
May fortunes gay sunshine illume thee the while,
And prosperity and peace in thy sweet valleys rest,
My own lovely Erin, bright Isle of the West.

Alas! misfortune and sorrow oft shrouded thee o'er,
But thou wilt yet be a Nation , great, grand, as of yore,
When thy sons make their own laws-heeding no oppressor's behest,
My dear native Erin, sweet gem of the West.

Immortal the patriots that were raised on thy sod,
True to their sireland, their Faith, and their God,
Worthy sons of Saint Patrick-who their dear land oft blest,
Their sweet lovely Erin, green Isle of the West.

Thro' ev'ry age thou hast bred sons of fame
Who with fresh laurels have garlanded thy unsullied name
Ever ready to defend thee with true hearts possess'd,
My dear lovely Erin, fair Isle of the West.

Thy valleys are fertile as any can be,
Sweet, unrival'd beauty adorn's each lea,
Thy mountains in glory and splendour are dress'd,
Towering lofty and bold in the Isle of the West.

May the clouds that hang o'er thee soon fast disappear,
Warm hearts and true, will welcome an advent so dear,
When the diadem of freedom adorns thy breast,
My sweet lovely Erin, fair Isle of the West.

When death shall draw near me-weary mortals dire fate,
And my spirit shall fly to the Heavenly Gate;
I dread not the summons - since my clay shall find rest,
In the bosom of my sireland - the sweet Isle of the West... ....

Denis J Foley,
Glounecommane.
27----12----1916
 

In March Rain

"A peck of March dust" the sages have said,
"Is worth a King's ransom" ( much more were it paid)
The truth of such maxim we cannot disclaim,
As day in and day out comes down the March rain.

Bitter and cold, from the northeast it doth come,
The grey clouds o'er spread the bright face of the sun,
And dreary's the outlook for planting the grain,
Since ceases not, the cruel March rain.

Damp and sodden the soil when touched by the plough,
On its surface the moisture lies cold on it now,
The ditches are full with what there remains,
Of the water which falls in the cold March rain.

All through the night unremitting it pours,
And when comes the daylight it still rains as before,
No outing's enjoyable-by bike, motor, or train,
And life is made dull by the bitter March rain.

Soon this month will have passed and we have but to pray,
To the God of the seasons-Who's merciful alway-
That weather quite favourable then we'll obtain,
When comes a cessation from this horrible rain.

When nature, still dormant, from slumber arise,
And old Sol blazes forth from the bright azure skies,
And the gay,happy toilers sowing the crops and the grain,
Are troubled no more by the fear of the rain.

When mild, balmy breezes, softly do blow,
And the lark sings merrily o'er the glad earth below,
The warblers on green bough, chant too, a sweet strain,
When on green sward and mellow earth, falls the soft rain.

Denis J Foley,
Glounecomane 

In Memoriam

( Capt. Reidy Manchester Regiment Killed in Action)

To pin a sad and mournful ditge,
I grasp my faltering quilt.
Of one whose noble Celtic heart,
In manhood's bloom was stille'd.
Yea! Duty's call he didst obey,
To battle with the brave,
Now, far away from friends and home,
He sleeps in a nameless grave.

Fired with true noble heroic zeal,
He struggled 'gainst the might.
Of despots vile, who would despoil
And heed not Truth or Right!
But alas! his manly form shatteted lay
Cruel death hath claimed its own,
Aye! a glorious crown awaited him,
Within the Great Unknown.

For duty well performed here,
A great reward awaits;
The good and just who in Him trust,
When they pass the golden gate.
That opens yon Death's portals grim,
Oh! sorrow's then all Past;
Thrice happy they who enter in,
Gathered to His Bosom Blest.

Oh! heroic soul! So brave and true,
Sweet peaceful be thy rest.
Alas! that foreign clay should lie upon
Thy noble Celtic breast.
We trust thy stainless spirit,
Doth endless peace enjoy,
Free from earth's strife and sorrow
Safe with thy Lord on High.

Denis J Foley,
Glounecomane. 

Lines in Memory of Pierce McCann, M.P.

( Died in Glouester Prison )

Patriot bold, true son of the Emerald Isle,
In her cause you have died in the cold dungeon vile;
Ennobling thy example'mong the martyrs of our race,
Revered and e'er remembered you hold an honour'd place,
Convinced of the justice of Erin's sacred cause,
Ever a fierce hater of her cruel oppressor's law$,
Mong the heroic few you boldly took your stand,
Conscious of the many wrongs of your down-trodden land,
Contempt within your hearts for those who'd forbear to be slaves,
Alas! thro' accursed tyranny you fill an early grave,
Neath the spreading ash in Dualla your manly form is laid
No more faithful soul, the Maker's call obeyed.

Denis J. Foley,
Glounecomane.
 

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