Denis J Foley Poems

To A Mother's Grave At Christmas

Tis Xmas Eve, dark, sombre, drear,
And the frost is on the ground
Across the distant vale I clearly see
A silent burial mound
The lofty oak and elm trees
Stand bereft of foliage green
Their bare boughs rustle in the breeze
In this sweet vale-Clogheen

On Xmas Eves of long ago
In memory sweet I dwell
The joys of life I then did vow
Not mine the gift to tell
When by my Mother's knee I lisped a prayer
To Heavens Virgin Queen
That Mother that's now free from care
And sleeping in sweet Clogheen.

The Xmas candle lighting now
Sad thoughts but sweet will bring
Though years are pressing on my brow
My youth is back again
Mother I hear the Aves low
We said each hallowed e'en
With that Mother fond, long, long, ago
Who sleeps in sweet Clogheen.

As Xmas Eve's doth come and go
What e'er might me befall
Youth's festive joys that I did know
I ever will recall
A Mother's tender care and love
Through life I will esteem
And the spot to me is sacred 'bove
A11 else-her grave in lone Clogheen... .....

Denis J Foley,

Mr Michael O Connor B. Arg.S. of Dromalour Kanturk

 who was drowned at Clonakilty June 1949

O'er the Old Court there hangs a gloom

And o'er its woodlands gay
This glorious day in breathless June
As Sol shed its glorious ray
For one it knew, by cruel Death
Was snatched from earth away
And in the noon of manhood's bloom
The great debt had to pay

No more to tread the emerald sod
Of his own his well loved land
Or gaze upon rising hills
That round about doth stand
'Tis sad indeed depressing thought
For mortal hearts to bear
But such are the dire necessitudes
That visit us poor creatures here.

O cruel treacherous ocean false
Remorseless and unkind
To unrelenting doom-too soon-
His warm heart is consigned
A loving part thus is bereft
And kind friends mourn with anguish sore
But God the Just, had it so willed
To call him to the higher shore.

Now as the years pass swiftly on
Through life's weary sad sojourn
Fond hearts will think of this cheery soul
Who is gone beyond the Bourne
And a thought will rise of his sunny smile
And the heart that was purest gold
And they feel 'tis best, now his spirit rest
In the mansions of the Bliss untold.

Denis J Foley,

The Clock

Tick Tock Tick Tock,
There upon the wall
The old clock goes ceaselessly on
Whatever may befall
Tho' oftentimes unheeded
True unerring to its task
In our life's chequered sojourn
It plays a faithful part

Tick Tock, Tick Tock,
As my attentive ear
Is struck by the continuous sound
My mind gives way to fear
Of what those moments mean to me
That are passing surely on
And that can never be recalled
Once that they are gone.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock,
Monotonous, shrill, and clear
So surely 'tis the tide of life
Fast ebbing for us here
Relentlessly we're rushing on
To meet our certain doom
And pass throughthe grim gates of death
That reaches beyond the tomb

And Tick Tock, Tick Tock,
Goes on this faithful friend
That warns us of each Passing hour
So we our ways may mend
If from righteous paths we wander
As we tread the world's highway
Before 'tis too late be e'er prepared
For the Great Accounting Day... ....

Denis J FoleY,

The Harvest Fair Liscarroll

Though fairs there are many all over the land
Where the pride of their owners some fine cattle stand'
In the famed Golden Vein or the plains of Royal Meath
They, are shown in their glory-magnificent beasts'
Here the critics are pleased with their colour and shape
And highly elated at the purchase they make
Yet of all tis the foremost-from Rathlin to Duhallow-
Long recorded as such - the Harvest Fair at Liscarroll'

You have cattle here on view-unequalled in the land
From Ballyhoura's nestling vales and shandrum's pastures grand
From banks of the Deel and the Awbeg where luscious pastures grow
And from curraghs fair and fertile slopes rvhere Allou's water flow,
They are driven here in numbers as the glorious dawn appears
For this is the day that comes but once in the slow round of the year'
Aye 'tis indeed u happy scene without tumult, riot, or quarrel'
'Tho oft the "shillelagtt" waved aloft at The Harvest Fair Liscarroll'

And buyers are here in numbers from all the counties'"down"
Roscommon and Tipperary and Kilmallock's ancient town
From Dublin too" they come and from the Coalquay
While Galway's honest rugged sons are represented there.
The Mallow men came here for beef they're sure to have the best
Compared with any to be found, I'm sure 'twould stand the test,
There's men from Drum. And Abbyfeale and Meath sends an O'Farrell
They will not miss such a chance as this The Harvest Fair Liscarroll'

The Trees at Kilmaboo

On yon green hill i fix my gaze
As Sol gives forth its pleasant ray's
And the land revives "neath the breath of Spring
And birds their mating songs doth shyly sing
Silent nature has worked once again
And a clarion call sends forth to men
All, all seems glad, but my heart's not so
For the trees are missing from Kilmabo.

Yes I seem deiected as I greet the Spring
And will feel no better at the blossoming
With leaf and bud will all seem gay
In our verdant Isle as comes the May
On each copse and fen in rarest sheen
Will the daisies bloom and the shamrock be seen
Yea, my soul is drooping in sense of woe
The trees are missing from Kilmabo.

Then tints of autumn again are here
And the leaves are fading, golden sere
As to you loved mound will my fond gaze turn
The sight beholden gives cause to mourne
The noble birch and the proud sycamore
That here tossed their heads are now no more
Aye the dead that lie in their grave below
Doth lament the trees in lone Kilmabo

Here long had waved those noble trees
And their trusses flaunted with every breeze
And seemed to chant a solemn requiem
For the souls of those who neath their sha-des had lain
In solitude and silence profound
Awaiting Michael's great trumpet sound
Ah, my inmost soul doth murmur low
Oh the trees, the trees, in Kilmabo'

The "strangers cold" in yon don't understand
And in accents bland mayhap might ask
Why in distressful mood give vent
And why all this show of sentiment
But from the depth's of my saddened soul
The answer echoes like thunder roll
When death shall strike me its fatal'blow
I had wished to slumber 'neath the trees of old Kilmabo' " '

Denis.J Foley,

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