Denis J Foley Poems

Duhallow of the Hills

Sweet barony of matchless grace,
What charms can equal thine;
Let poets sublime laud other climes,
To chant your praise is mine.
Each pasture fair, or garden rare,
With floral fragrance fills;
Thy shady nooks, sequestred, gay,
Sweet Duhallow ofthe hills.

Slopes steep and green here can be seen
Modelled by Nature's hand;
And fields in verdant garb are dressed,
By pleasant zephyrs fanned.
And peaceful cors bedeck each spot,
Nigh silver sparkling rills;
On whose mossy banks bloom flowers gay,
In Duhallow of the hills.

Thy castles stand in splendour grand,
In ruin'd pomp and pride;
Where 'neath thy hoary moss- grown walls,
Our sires fought and died.
When pondering on the bitter past,
My soul with horror thrills,
Thank Heaven! such times are gone and o'er,
Sweet Duhallow of the hills.

When the cruel foe, your sons o'erthrew,
And ravaged thy fair dells;
With fire and sword wrought havoc dire-
Eire's chequered history tells.
Thy Chieftains brave - none could subdue-
Did struggle with a will,
To shield thy shrines from dark rapine,
Sweet Duhallow ofthe hills.

Thy matchless rivers onward roll,
So pleasant to the view,
By vale and glen, swelled by many a stream,
The Alloa and sweet Dallua.
The ripples on their bosoms rare,
The air with music fills;
To chant a pleasing lullaby,
To Duhallow of the hills.

Sweet barony of my childhood's home,
Methinks no other scenes excel,
The beauty of each valley green,
Each glade, bright knoll and dell'
Where dwell thy true, thy patriot sons,
Whose noble hearts e'er thrill
With love for thee, unsullied, Pure,
Sweet Duhallow of the hills-

On Freemount Bridge

On Freemount Bridge at eventide,
I dearly love to stand;
And watch the murmuring Alloa glide,
And ripple o'er the strand.
The golden sun with ling'ring ray,
Is sinking in the West,
'Hind Knockilla's purple hillside brown,
He slowly goes to rest.

Here the peaceful scenes the eye suryeys,
Are pleasing to behold;
The verdant vales, the gentle slopes,
The sweetly smiling knolls,
Array'd in Nature's loveliness,
They be-speak the hand of God,
Who deigned such beauty to bestow,
On Erin's saint'd sod.

The hedge-grows green; around may be seen,
When Summer reigns enthron'd;
And lovely flowers in myriads bloom,
With a fragrance all their own.
The gentle river's moss-grown bank,
All like a garden seem;
And the sylvan dells, and grassy fells,
Are robed in rarest sheen.

Yea! what a change we may behold,
When winter's in the land;
With mighty force 'tis here revealed,
When on Alloa Bridge we stand.
The once murmuring, placid, rippling rill,
Is now aragingtorrent wide,
Inundating the sweet vales and dells,
That lay along its side.

The waters dash against the walls,
That tower up stout and strong;
In turbulent mood they seethe and leap,
And madly surges on.
They vainly seem to test the strength,
Of those walls hoary and grey;
That now for nigh one hundred years,
Have with-stood Time's swift decaY.

In Spring-tide's sheen or Summer's glow,
Thro' winter long and dreary;
The winding stream unceasingly flows,
In changing mood-un-weary.
By sylvan banks and shady dills,
Its crystal waters glide;
As on Alloa Bridge entranced I gaze,
My heart is filled with pride.

Elegiac Lines

(IN Memory of Mr. Michael O Connor, N.T. Toorard who died on 25th 1915 sympathetically addressed to his sorrowing relatives, by Denis J Foley Glouneycomane, Freemount.

Ah! cruel death, your deadly grasp another victim's borne,
For whom sad friends upon this earth doth ever fondly mourn
In manhood's bloom, alas! he's now lying in the clay,
In Kilbrin's lonely churchyard he rests 'till Judgment Day"

A scholar of rare talent - of wit and cultured mind,
Esteemed by all, both rich and poor -so gentle and refined,
A cheery word to everyone, no earthly foe he knew,
Upon this sphere his equals were but few.

A true son of the motherland, he bravely played his part,
The realisation of her dreams did swell his noble heart,
The patriots blood coursed through his veins-he was an ardent Gael,
Prepared to do a true man's share for dear old Innisfail.

He was kind to his pupils -aye! beloved by everyone,
By his gentle disposition their heart's affection won;
And lovingly he laboured to infuse their youthful hearts,
With learning deep to fit them in this world to play apart.

Ah! bitter is the sorrow of his dear devoted wife
Aye! anguish deep shall o'er-shadow her brightest hopes of life,
And too, his sorrowing mother his sisters, brothers fond
Will long revere the memory of the dear soul that has gone.

For the children he left fatherless amid this vale of tears,
Unknowing of the world's wiles, its sorrows, cares and fears;
They all sorely miss a parent's love - a father's guiding hand,
To teach them tread a rightful path-obeying God's command.

'Tis sad indeed, his earthly career so soon should terminate
But a noble crown awaited him beyond the Eternal Gate,
The call of the Heavenly Chief found him not unprepared
To stand a favourable judgment - then endless Bliss to share... ...

The Old Wall Liscarroll

In Erin's Isle stands lofty piles,----------(ruined for lofty)
And noble strongholds grand;----------------(Once noble strongholds grand)
Those architecturul gem sublime, -----------(As architectural gems sublime)
Are studded o'er the land. -----------------(They are the glory ofthe land)
Reminiscent ofthe storied Past,
Such time my mind recalls,
When from yonder hill in pride I gaze,
On Liscarroll's fam'd "Old Walls"

Those massive walls, those grand old walls,
Our country's history tell,
Of men bold and true - none could subdue,
Who fought here and bravely fell;
In dark bygone days, in freedom's cause,
They perished 'mid its halls,
Their heart's blood dyed the portals grey,
0f Liscarroll's fam'd "Old Walls"

'Gainst Cromwell's accursed, plundering crew,
Those heroes fought and bled;
While in gorgeous splendour and glory,
The green flag waved o'erhead;
Sweet symbol of the Celtic race,
Ere its standard here did fall,
Ah! many a Saxon writhed in his gore,
'Neath Liscarroll's grand "Old Walls."

In ruin'd pomp and splendour grand,
It rears its lofty tower,
A silent, solemn, monument
Of ancient Celtic power.
As I proudly gaze upon it,
Its sight holds me in thrall,
And I picture warrior clansmen bold,
On Liscarroll's grand "Old Walls'"

With pike and blade, yea! undismayed,
As in the glorious past
They stand prepared to do and dare,
True to Erin to the last.
But the vision fades, I stand entranced,
O'er the scene the curtain falls;
I am gazingbut on the ruin's grand,
Of Liscarroll's fam'd "Old Walls."

My Irish Home

 There are mansions grand throughout the land,
With castellated towers;
Whose portals wide adorned are
By Natures choicest flowers.
The stately oak and beech tree tall,
Surround each lofty dome,
Such splendour fades as on thee I gaze,
My humble Irish home.

In foreign climes are castles fine,
Where dukes and earls dwell;
Bedecked in grandeur, beauteous, rare,
Of which no tongue could tell.
Or mind conceive the boundless wealth,
That raised each sculptured stone;
But it seems to me but fairer still,
My humble Irish home!

No splendour great surrounds this cot.,
Perched high on yonder hill;
Commanding a view far-reaching,
Of brown knoll and grassy dell.
No sweeter scene could I behold,
Were I the world to roam,
Than those I view enraptured, from
My humble Irish home.

Beneath its roof God's sweet daylight
Was first beheld by me,
And here was spent my childhood's days,
From care and sorrow free;
Beloved by parents, kind and true,
Both rest in Kindred loam;
But, they never will forgotten be,
In this humble Irish home.

In vale or dell, or by mountain fell,
Throughout dear Erin's Isle,
May God's blessing's sweet on each homestead light,
And e'er preserve from guile,
The dwellers there-who when he calls,
(So shall His holy will be done)
May they be prepared endless bliss to share,
In the bright eternal home.

Denis J. Foley,

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