Now good old Yule-tide once more comes
With blare of cornets, roll of drums,
And folks like us are full ...
Now good old Yule-tide once more comes
This category includes 5 volumes of poems never previously published:
Vol 1 Pebbles on the Beach 1918-1926 “Dedicated to my father who first taught me delight in words.”
Vol 2 The Boat in the Farmyard and other poetry 1925-1926 “Dedicated to my mother, who first taught me the value of friendship.”
Vol 3 Driftwood and Seawrack 1926-27 “Dedicated to my aunt, who first taught me the delight of music.”
Vol 4 Putting out to sea and other poems 1927-8 “Dedicated to Arthur Kinrade.”
Vol 5 Seaspell and other poems 1928-30 “Dedicated to the girls I left behind me!”
Below you will find excerpts of all the poems from these volumes sorted by alphabetical order.
For a list of titles of these poems Click here
Now good old Yule-tide once more comes
With blare of cornets, roll of drums,
And folks like us are full ...
When I will die
Bury me nigh
My mountains high,
Near to the sky
Where breezes sigh.
A pig, a pig!
Who’ll buy my pig?
Thou’ll nowhere find a pig as big
Oh, weather clerk, oh why hast thou
On this, this one day of all days
Quenched by thy clouds the ...
Oh, Father, from Thy lofty seat,
Oh, hear our simple prayer!
Be with the toilers on the deep,
Safe keep ...
A glinting stream
Fretting over the stones in the chine,
Murmuring in and out of the pebbles,
(Ecclesiastes Ch. 3)
TO every worldly thing a season is;
A time to every purpose under heaven;
A time for ...
Oh, Freddie on the fiddle
And I on the piano
With others in the middle
We’ll make the ...
There is rain on the window and rain on the door,
The garden is swimming in yellows and greens;
I’m out me knees thinnin turmits,
An the soil’s turble coul on the hans,
An I’m thinkin about them swell ...
Let me lean over
Thou wast my lover,
Fashioned so slenderly;
Angel wings hover,
Home is the rover....
There is music in the field
Where the reapers keen scythes wield
In the corn stalks half-concealed:
At the top of the house is a world of play.
Rooms where children are noisy and gay.
Cable-cars rattle ...
Ballads of the Ballamoors
LONELY now to me are the lanes of memory,
Dull the days I wander on the ...
A golden moon hung low upon the sea.
The hills were yellow where they turned their slopes,
But black upon ...
When I am weary, weary, weary, by night and by day,
And my mind is afloat on the oceans of ...
(Translated from the French of Charles Baudelaire)
‘Tis bitter-sweet on cold and wintry nights
To sit beside a fire that ...
The dusty hedge,
Settling now –
What are thou?
Insect or bird?...
“Called I thee fair? Called I thee nymph divine?
Called I thee fragile, dainty, perfumed flower?
And didst thou miss ...
There is a carnival in Peel to-night,
And joyous laughter rings through starry dark.
Confetti falls in showers, a rainbow ...
See where the mighty keep its form uprears
In lofty grandeur to the pondering sky.
See the majestic pile there ...
OH, it is a castle ancient and its grim and rugged pile
Has known a hundred battles fought where now ...
Tranquil mere in sunset light,
Mirror of gold:
On thy breast doth radiance pour,
Shady trees thine edge embower,
(Apologies to Coleridge)
AT Kerrowhdhoo did Cobbler Cain
A splendid pleasure ground decree,
Where Ballacottier’s river ran
Through valleys beautiful ...
(Apologies to John Masefield)
OH, Westminster’s a fine coll,
And all its sights are rare;
And here the chaps are ...
(Apologies to Samuel T. Coleridge)
THERE is our George! He looks so old,
In truth you’d find it hard to ...
(Apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Knock, knock, knock,
On the tight-shut door, O ye!
And I couldn’t for decency utter...
(Apologies to nobody)
O Infamy! O Tyranny! Still one
More paper in Mathematics Practical!
When shall we cease, we horny ...
(Apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson)
YOU must come call me early, call me early, knocker-up;
Tomorrow’ll be the earliest morn ...
AS one journeying in a torrid land
Beneath th’impassioned sun, no tree
To shelter life, or canopy,
His tongue swoll’n, ...
UNTIDY Gale, who loudly speaks,
Oh, go and change those holey breeks
That seem as though they’ve swept the floor,...
SOMEWHERE there sounds a bell!
Anon there comes the noise of clatt’ring feet;
Upon the stairs a savoury odour meet,...
ONE little month will soon slip by,
Four little weeks will quickly fly;
“Twenty eight days!” we gladly cry,
A leaden sombre sky,
A dull unchanging day,
I gaze with mournful eye
Upon the doleful day.
Yet all the ...
A Very Anciente Ballad
‘Artie, Artie, what mak’s ye sae sad,
And the sun shines in the street and a ...
AS children playing in the sand
Are loth to leave the mounds they make,
Yet onward o’er the level strand...
ALL lying on the floor; kicked here and there
By clumsy-footed animals greedy
For their own bags and caring naught ...
WIRES here, wires there,
Who rises like a sudden thought?
Why, Prinny; nervous and distraught.
O Prinny, calm!...
A silence reigns.
Anon a husky cough the stillness breaks,
Some little noise the student makes,
Then silence reigns!
(Apologies to Browning)
AT the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When I stick the stamp with glee;
(Apologies to S.T. Coleridge)
AND this place we are forced to use all morn!
This, for the practice of our ...
(Apologies to Crabbe)
Thus once again, my native isle, I come
Thee to salute, my earliest, only home;
Much art ...
(Apologies to Tennyson)
Artie and Willie
Slept in a cell;
Sleep, tired students;
And they slept well.
Green was the ...
(Apologies to Rothery)
Sleep, weary student, sleep,
While shadows soft creep.
Lie cold in your nest
By raw winds caress’d....
(Apologies to Arthur Hugh Clough)
To spend nine weeks of toil and pain,
Again, again, and yet again,
In working ...
Oh, warm the breath!
Oh, sweet the sighs!
White sheets beneath.
Cease not, O breath;
Come not, O ...
(Apologies to Matthew Arnold)
Prinny dear, was it yesterday
We left sweet Douglas on its bay?
In the caverns ...
Amid this gloom of bricks and lime
Where life is but a pantomime,
Where London roars and church bells chime,...
I plucked an apple; the apple was sour.
I threw it away, and picked a flower.
The flower was withered, ...
SWOLLEN and angry with foaming crest
The river swirls along,
With frowning brow and quickly heaving breast,
The river-reeds among....
YOU ask me why I sit and gaze
With vacant stare in front of me;
And why amid this dunce’s ...
IF time could roll back years for me
And lift the veil that ages seam,
Them might I live what ...
FOUR more Saturdays will come and go
Ere from this place we turn our toe
In fervid jubilation.
Four more ...
(With apologies to John Masefield)
QUINN came in from Newcastle and some from far Carlisle,
Travelling down to London from ...
Quick as Kissacks
We turn in Physics
A bobbin for our coil.
Curious the weather
OUR homes are in the trees,
We are clad but in the breeze,
And our forms are feathery light,
TO rise in the grey of the morning
When the sun has not risen from bed,
A dark scowl our ...
IF I am wearied of this life of toil,
And all the air seems full of sweating groans,
When there ...
THE sun will shine, and yet the rain may pour;
The stream swift run, yet still backwaters creep.
Thus though ...
Quite a mwful!
No Physical Training,
For it is raining,
And we are thankful,
Though earth is dankful....
Another fine day.
How time flies!
My way lies?
I don’t know,
To and fro;
(With apologies to Fitzgerald)
Awake! for, Ringing in the Realm of Night,
The Morning Bell has put all Sleep ...
Well-a-day, there’s a junior called Price
Who really is awfully nice,
So gentle and sweet,
And so dainty of feet,...
So this May Day! And very appropriate weather
Sun shining, and face shining, both of ‘em together.
May all before ...
(Apologies to Southey)
It was a winter evening.
My morrow’s work was done,
And I before my window drear
(Apologies to Leigh Hunt)
Benjamin Heppell (may his tribe decrease!)
Awoke one night feeling quite ill at ease
To see, ...
I cry out aloud to the tempest
As it sweeps in the dark world about me;
It answers my prayer ...
High wind shrieking
Through trees, and rumbling
In the flues
Old and crumbling,
Can’t hear speaking –
What’s the use?...
A College Cantata
(With Greek Chorus)
CHORUS: Hide thee, Joey, in thy cover,
Grim Bill wants thy barren hand;
(Apologies to Christina G. Rossetti)
MY part is like a rigmarole
That makes me want the author shoot;
My part ...
THERE’S a little cottage nestling
Under trees whose tops are wrestling
With the strong winds from the hill;
At their ...
(With apologies to Lord Byron)
AS seniors we came up like wolves on the fold
Though our faces were gleaming ...
(Apologies to Robert Bridges)
I love all ancient things,
I’d like to restore them;
Castles and narrow ways;
For man ...
(Apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson)
I have a merry room-mate who lives in the Well with me,
And what goes ...
Blue are thy delicate veins,
Cream-white thy skin,
Old rose thy laughing lips –
It were a sin
Not to ...
Jenny with her level brows
And curly raven hair,
Jenny can my interest rouse
As no one else would dare....
I often wonder about Molly,
For when I see her smile
I don’t know if it’s at me or my ...
RUTH is of girls
All laughter and light,
Of beauty and grace
That shines in her face,
So oval and ...
He was a man whose aim was such
That people called him narrow;
His vision did not widen much
A cold yellow fog, and a college grey
Asleep in the fog, and no sound to disturb
The cold dank ...
From my debased position on the floor
My outward view is bounded by the splay
Of Duggie’s leg. No matter ...
A Lurid Speaker! O most excellent man
That shocked the grave susceptibilities
Of stiff-necked tutor and prim scholar clan,
London is fair this morning,
The day’s in her second doze,
And through the haze
Come the warm rays
How the small bird doth sing,
Wake in the spring!
How the grey chill doth wing
Fog is like some clinging girl
Of writhing shape and yellow curl,
Vague, mysterious, veiling light,
Turning happy day to ...
I went for a walk in London to-day
In just a listless, ambling way;
There seemed so little for me ...
You passed me by
With but a fluttering glance,
Yet in your eye
Did sunbeams dance;
And oh, ...
This is more than a joke,
All the gods I invoke.
Pouring out in voluminous masses...
Music is like a sunset sky, at night
Suffusing the whole world with amber light,
Casting around start trees a ...
(Apologies to Lewis Carroll.)
How doth the little Crabtree lad
Improve his shining face,
By thinking of his home, ...
Eddie climbing up the rungs
Twisted one of his two lungs;
As he spat, he said, “Why, Pitts
“Shouldn’t be ...
I know that fellow named Hancock
Went to visit some people at Bangkok,
When offering him port
They said, “Be ...
To force un food that we loathe
Is something we will never suffer;
Though Cook does her utmost to clothe...
Tis said that old Father Pressure Osmotic
Had certain deficiencies in his sclerotic;
The most painful of which was a ...
(Apologies to Wordsworth)
Hurrah for rumour! We have heard,
We hear it and rejoice;
Our cook is gone! She was ...
(Apologies to Sir Walter Scott)
Our brick wall swank with a lively fair,
Westminster stones are green.
And we may ...
Gloomy, dusty, bright motes playing
In the slanting beam of sunlight,
Pouring on us while we’re praying
Praying to be ...
Sleepest thou, beloved?
The ceaseless drain doth drip
In cadenced monotones,
Lashed beneath the whip
Of a wind that moans....
Oh, come with me and I will show you
Where the students meet for prayers
In the morning and ...
London is sad this morning,
To-day is a day of tears;
And in the room
Long shadows gloom,
And on ...
I SIXTY SEVENTH SONNET
Unheeding stream, yet one last time I look
At your clear crystal depths, in impish speed...
(With apologies to C. Wolfe)
Not a ‘hem’ was heard, not a clearing throat
As its course the tense drama ...
(Apologies to Robert Southey)
My days upon the Isle are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er my jaundiced eyes are ...
(Apologies to Thomas Campbell)
Ye clarinet of Hubert
That sounds its As and Cs,
Whose bell had blared a thousand ...
Arthur crouches low and mutters
Cruel things about his bed.
Pete with legs like lengthy putters
Shambles round as one ...
(Apologies to Sir Walter Scott)
Oh, old Doctor Dick has come into the hall!
Throughout the grey college his face ...
THE church bells have been pealing and are hushed;
Their call to worship fell like fragrant dew
Upon rich meadow ...
(With apologies to John Keats)
Reason for trysts and fellow youthfulness,
Close bosom friend of the last remaining one,
She walked to chapel in the eventide
And they that saw her go spoke thus aloud:
“She always walks alone ...
This morning we have more
More vapour from the Jackass we adore,
The subject Francis Bacon.
He tells us ...
YE sons that are going to fight for your country,
Stout be your hearts as ye march on your way;...
Love once came dancing through a forest glade
In wild abandon and in fancy free,
But ah, he stopped ...
An open boat upon an open sea;
The sky, a canopy of million stars o’erhead;
The only occupant a broken ...
A nation weeps, a nation mourns,
A nation sorrows in its bournes,
A sombre cloak its frame adorns,
For Haig ...
The Catholic Mary now draws near her end,
Her end unmourned by England, riven sore
By enmities and strife, for ...
Now last of all here comes cold proud December;
Last lies it on the calendar, not least.
Glowing alone, the ...
Deep in the mem’ries of long ago
Lies something precious and rare,
Gratefully lighting with gentle glow
Days that are ...
THE savoury smell of the kipper fried
Steals to my nose, and I,
Thinking of nothing but filling inside,
(from the play ‘Eric Everard’)
Brother mine, the night is dark!
Must you go? Must you go?
Beware the dark ...
‘Tis early morning and the gloomy night
Has flown with all its damp and heavy dew,
And bats and owls, ...
Dew-pearled the lawn, and ruddy-lipped the sky,
New-waked the cock that nearby proudly crows;
Sighing the zephyr awakening the rose;...
Silence prevails, the very air is still;
Muffled are footsteps on the parapet;
Hushed are the cars, and quiet is ...
The town’s asleep, the streets are bare and cold;
Shuttered the shops, the window-blinds are down;
Raw lies the morning ...
(The first of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Gray)
The school bell tolls the knell of parting day;...
ELEVEN days from now I’ll be
From homestead putting out to sea,
And as the vessel shapes her course
The escallonia smells sweet
After a shower of rain,
Its waxy flowers like babies’ feet
Shine in the sun again....
We like to go for a good long walk
In the evening after tea,
And with the neighbours have a ...
A ship sailed out into the golden west,
Her sails were set and bellied in the breeze.
But battered she ...
The Eairy Dam lies chill, its surface flecked
Into sharp ripples by the breeze. Reeds sway
Ever so slightly where ...
O mammoth trunk,
To earth you’ve sunk,
Your roots flung in the air;
Your leafy crown
In weeds brought down...
The fire grows low, the embers fall apart,
The room grows dark and shadows steal around;
I gaze and gaze ...
The snow lies thick on twig and branch,
A feathery foliage, white and rare.
Beneath this gradual avalanche
The features ...
In the oil-lamp’s mellow light
Fear and fancies crowd in sight,
While outside the waiting night
Draws in eerily!
1. Can mortal man taste of diviner joy
Than that which fills the heart of one who drives
A rattling ...
1. Slowly, oh slowly, opened I my eyes
To gaze in drowsy wonder at the mass,
The grey translucent mass, ...
1. The morn broke fair; how unlike yesterday
When clinging wetness covered everything!
Now on the dewy grass young sunbeams ...
1. Why did I vow that I should go this day
With Harry to the village, when the tent
1. Awake, ye sleepers, to the blushing day,
Blushing for shame that here low-couched ye lie,
When her great herald ...
1. Day with her consort of the blazing locks
Stormed on the shades and drove them from the dell,
1. Rain, droning rain, and a gloom that filled our hearts.
Will it never cease its funeral dirge
To the ...
1. Flown is the week; our sojourn nears its end!
In a few hours the laughing mountain stream
Will pass ...
I seem to hear the rallying call
When daylight fades and shadows fall
And dusk is creeping up the glen,...
O singing stream, I take one tender look
At thy clear crystal depths in childish speed
ALAS, the church is empty near,
The light is dim, the service drear;
The hymns are poor, and more than ...
Of commonplace things and commonplace life we dream.
In commonplace homes and commonplace streets we live.
Humble and poor and ...
A song floats by upon the breeze,
I try to catch its air;
I know the whispers of the trees,...
THE wearying shore
Fought inch by inch,
Back to the cliff
Against the advancing sea.
And more and more,
Far and near the fairies weep!
Near and far the shadows creep!
Now the beast’s life-breath is flown,
Fairies and ...
Glenfaba Mill, thy lumbering wheel
Still turns in heavy majesty;
Its measured movement may reveal
The sure approach of destiny;...
Moaning, rising, shrieking, falling, spun
Around the gables of the Church of Runn
(An ancient saint of Manx descendancy)
Yet still one more Good Friday dawns! ‘Tis fair,
That is the striking fact, ‘tis bright and clear;
No fairer ...
The day was hot, the balls were white;
We slammed them round with main and might;
Cared not a whit ...
(Apologies to R.W. Emerson)
Being the Twenty First of the Black Hole Ballads
IF the Grammarian thinks he speaks
Grandfather clock, grandfather clock!
Tick, tock! Tick tock!
Weighing out seconds, and minutes, and hours,
Clipping off time with merciless ...
The cry went echoing wide,
Down the deserted street
In the gray light of dawn
That dread word was ...
(The sixth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Walter Scott)
Breathes there a boy with soul so dead...
I sprang to the saddle with Arthur behind,
And two of us rode with one thought in our mind
She is my love and I her knight
And gallant gay!
I think sometimes that once she might
Just look ...
I remember a maiden,
Her face invades my dreams.
Her hair was black as the midnight wave,
Her eyes were ...
I saw thee weep, but knew not why
Thou wast upset, nor what the thief
Called Time had stol’n, to ...
If he sees not the springtime green,
If he hears not the birds’ sweet song,
If he goes without having ...
In every smile a threat
If we can see it there;
In every word a curse
If we expect to ...
(Scene: Garden before the house. The lovers walk on, arms entwined.)
Many the nights we two have spent like ...
WHEN I look back on what has gone
And view the wasted years
I wonder should I travel on
In the beginning there was God.
And God was there, and God was God.
And God created heaven and ...
(The fifteenth of the Black Hole Ballads)
THE scrawl’s on the board,
And we are still bored;
Mathematics aye will...
Sometimes a yellow slug
Creeps up the pipe
To where the hole is for the plug.
It looks like some ...
A silhouette against the evening sky
He stands pensive and still;
The twilight fades, the breezes sigh
O’er all the ...
AT the head of Douglas harbour
Stands the Douglas Railway Station
In its late-Victorian splendour,
Red of brick, with iron ...
Let me tell you of the engines,
Of the sixteen little engines,
Very shiny in their green paint,
Very striking ...
NOW a word about the stations,
Little wayside country stations;
Some with platforms, some without them;
Some with buildings, some ...
Let me take you on a journey
Cross the island to the westward
Starting out from Douglas Station
On the ...
Green-mantled isle of rock-bound coast and hills,
Of smiling fields and hedgerows bright with flowers,
Of happy memories of leisured ...
See on the grassy river bank in play
Themselves disporting all the livelong day
The sweet Katrina and her Ramion....
Oh, weep for our land of quick passing day!
Sigh for the words now passed for ever far
From the ...
Remember now thy Maker in thy youth,
While evil days come not, nor years draw nigh,
When thou shalt say, ...
How still and peaceful is the Sabbath eve!
A spiral of blue smoke is wandering
Into the air, and that ...
UPON this clean white page I write
A verse for you to treasure.
Let those who wish to bark and ...
The clock dings out the passages of time
In solemn strokes, clear, sure, and ponderous;
With every quarter a melodious ...
The air is still, there is no sound,
White are the roofs, and white the ground,
And soft white flakes ...
Oft have I wondered what that isle,
Lying ‘neath Albion like an egg
Where she puts forth her western leg,...
The world is asleep!
A mantle covers up its face, its changeful voice is still;
The earth is cold and ...
(From the French of Georges Jamin)
I am distraught under a grievous blow.
Each moment teems with mem’ries of the ...
O’er the green hedges came the jolly cry
Borne on the breeze of reapers in the wheat,
And all was ...
Oft in the days when the fairies were free,
Long, long ago:
On moonlit grass they would hold revelry,
Tinker, tailor, plumber,
All’s the same to me,
To me, to me!
Soldier, sailor, drummer,
Men I long to see,...
Borne to my ears the sound of billows’ roar,
Borne to my ears the far surf’s sullen song,
The scream ...
(Prize Poem, D.S.S.)
Somewhere in Mona’s verdant isle there lies
A landscape formed of pastures, farms, and trees,
Enclosed on ...
Annie sits upon the milking stool,
Her head is pressed into the cow;
Between her fingers, deft and cool,
ALONG the dusty highroad rolled two panting youths and hot;
The sweat streamed from each shining face, there iciness was ...
Morn from the East comes dancing through the gate,
Clad all in flowers and decked in lovely white,
Joyous, light-hearted, ...
Proud morning came to wake us, cold and stark;
Her naked face was raw, her hand was chill;
She made ...
Away in the green glen a streamlet’s song,
As it chatters and bubbles the stones among,
Proclaims “I live!” as ...
Oh, mountain tarn, I dare to venture near
Thy grassy rim and stand amid the reeds
Knee-high, and look into ...
MUD, thick and black, heaves all around and hems
One little solid spot; and germs infest
Its slimy depths, with ...
DOWN in the darkened glen
Fell demons brood,
Waiting to ensnare all men
Who would intrude
On their solitude.
(The tenth of the Black Hole Ballads)
ONCE the Bishop of Sodor and Man
A trip on the briny did ...
(The fourth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Lord Tennyson)
Half an hour, half an hour,
Half an ...
I looked from out my sill one night
And witnessed a surprising sight,
For there was perched a figure in ...
Here where the bees are droning
Around the fuchsia bush,
All, all save their intoning
Is wrapped in evening hush....
(Translation from the French of Th. Gautier)
The sky was dark, the earth was white,
And gaily rang the bells;...
Oh, month of withered leaves and leaping fires!
Oh, month of tossing seas and storms of hail;
When sun each ...
Now hath the summer gone and autumn come
And old October hath her raiment donned
And gathered tatters for her ...
WHERE thou hast reigned there wilt thou reign again
With greater pomp and splendour in thy train,
Mannanan Beg Mac-Leir!...
(From the French of Henri de Regnier)
If I have Sunday
Of my love, ‘tis to the water slow
Old grandmothers’ tales, say the wise and the clever,
A tissue of lies about happenings that never
Took place on ...
(Apologies to Gray)
Being the Twenty-Fourth of the Black Hole Ballads
‘Twas in the Grammar School’s green yard
Where Sixth ...
(The fourteenth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to
Cotton skin, derelict, black,
Painted with witches’ own brew,
(With apologies to Keats)
Oft I have heard voices in sung upraised,
Oft have I felt sweet music’s power to ...
Sweet seventeen! Ah, glorious seventeen!
I wellcome thee to join the previous years
And lay thy hand upon me. Thou ...
(In memory of John Jabez Quirk)
Ah! He is gone, whom we shall sadly miss.
His voice no longer at ...
O Happy Man! Now art thou blest indeed;
On lists of fame thy name shall hence be scrolled.
I’ll warrant ...
(The third of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to a popular song)
Everybody loves our baby but our baby ...
TO Peel to-day
Not the O.K.
But in the car
Of Alan Parr.
A number went
With the intent
I set by meself in the outhouse
A-chewin’ a long birra straw;
An’ the averin’s drawin’ in mighty,
So wharram ...
(With apologies to Milton)
I, who erewhile in happy childhood played
In Ridgeway attics and the quay, now sing
Oh, clap your hand, ye people, shout to God
In triumph, for most terrible and high
He sits a mighty ...
Of love my Shepherd is the King,
I shall not want for anything.
In pastures green He makes me lie...
Unto the Lord, oh lands, make joyful noise,
And all ye nations, joyfully now sing;
Know ye, all ye, the ...
We were saying, we ten,
Where sea and sand meet,
The world was made for men,
But women keep it ...
Older companion of thy southern friend,
Older by far of the Manx castles twain,
Thy pomp and splendour shall we ...
I said, “Let’s all do something dramatic!”
Another, “A play like we did in the attic.”
Then Tom, “Yes, quite ...
The law of all coincidence is strange,
If law there be. Man cannot cut and prune
And shape in figures ...
My father said “Why don’t you write
“A poem that I can recite
In the schoolroom next Thursday night
Upon a rugged promontry I stood,
And round the wheeling screaming seagulls flew.
The angry surf murmured and frothed below...
RED banners unfurlin the late evening fires
Beyond the etched trees and the golden-tipped spires.
Ablaze as with brands is ...
(With apologies to Matthew Arnold)
Being the Twentieth of the Black Hole Ballads
STREW on it rubbish, rubbish,
But never ...
THIS was a lovely night! The fresh cold dew
Fell on each forehead like a kiss, with soft
Caressing touch. ...
(Entered for competition, D.S.S.)
Amid the city’s bustle, haste and noise
In office dark alone I sit, with hands
The Queen was kissed whilst playing whist!
It was a situation!
The kingly Crump with fist did thump
His head ...
On the first day I saw thee,
Said I to meself, ‘Go wary
And she’ll be thy Ben-my-Chree!’...
Roar on and in thy roaring send to me
A breath of other days, O distant sea!
Throw up thy ...
From the high brow of Snaefell one can see
The island like a ship from stem to stern.
There thrusts ...
(From the French of John Antoine Nau).
The flat cold oceans a green mirror heave
Beneath the rocks that bord ...
I have at last been to the Falls,
The Swallow Falls at Bettys-y-Coed.
We sailed upon the Mona’s Queen,
When stars are bright
And lights are low
I hear at night
The distant scream
Of pebbles round...
Where my love lies sleeping
I am hast’ning on,
While the shadows round are creeping
I am hast’ning on:
I hate the Indians and their customs!
I hate their rolling beating drums!
I want the pleasure of an English ...
Over the deserts hot and dry I roam
Trying to recall my memories of home,
Memories that blaze in radiant ...
(The second of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to R.L. Stevenson)
Under a wide and starry sky
Dig the ...
My muse she is leaning
Where once she did reap,
She halts at her gleaning
My muse is ...
SIXTY NINTH SONNE
I love the scent of loamy soil, the smell
Of the cool earth when turned beneath the ...
Not for my eyes are Arcadia’s fountains
When I am tired and sore depressed.
Not for my feet are Alpine ...
HAST heard the lilting tune
Of songs beneath the moon,
The songs with which the dumb things all resound?
The wind is sighing low
With music soft and slow
Through the bare stunted branches of the trees;
And like ...
Oh, the sun, the beauteous sun
When o’er dusky shade hath won,
Colouring where the flowers run,
Ripening the berry....
I said to myself, “There’s a star,
“Yet the ordinary man in the street
Will complain of the cold
The waves’ advancing armies break and fall
In creamy lather, whipped by angry squall,
And pound the shingle and the ...
Oh, hasten out! Leave in thy rear that room
Where music reigns discordant; dancers gay
Flit o’er the polished surface ...
Over the stile and up the lane
Between the thorny brambles,
That’s the way we go again
For summer Sunday ...
Now Sundays are of all days set apart
For strolling on the promenade in twos;
Each loving swain is hooked ...
The oily waters swell and murmur low
In the grey ghostly pallor of the mist
Which in the early morn ...
We love it when it rains to go into the loft,
Up the steps from the cowhouse, and play;
LO, we are now to see the welcome end
Of yet another lengthy road of toil
That seemed to curl ...
I’m an oul’ bachelor, studdy and staid,
Studdy I am, an’ studdy I’ll be;
All may accounts at the week-end ...
And the next day before a ray
Of sun was on the world,
The King was up, no ...
The Ballamoar is a farm of mountain, field and stone,
And there is dwelling happily our widowed aunt alone;
ABOVE the murmur of the night there come
The lonely tones of a sad distant bell,
One, two, and three, ...
Below my bedroom window in the Corporation Yard
A blacksmith blows his bellows and works there very hard.
He hammers ...
The old black boat
Will never float
Except upon a sea of nettles.
Half on her side
She lay and ...
My boy, that road leads to the distant town,
And this one stretches to the waiting sea.
Hast thou determined ...
She sang in the garden
An old island song,
Her sister and warden
Her chair pushed along
Her voice was ...
IN the fall of the night when the rocks lay a-sleeping
And the waves gently fondled the slumberous shore,
Long shadows are creeping,
The day’s almost done;
A mother kneels weeping
Beside her dead son.
“That Thou could’st have ...
There is an empty house
Beyond the lane,
And there no cat or mouse
Will come again;
The family is ...
Another year hangs on the line,
The sagging line of worn-out years;
A thousand there, and twenty nine
Since One ...
I had a dream on well-remembered night
Wherein we two were standing on a hill;
Alone we watched the sun ...
Here rests his head upon a Tennis Pill,
A youth, to Fortune lost, from Ping-Pong flown;
Fair Science smiled not ...
(From the French of Anatole France)
Slow are my feet from cottage to the sea,
And weariness is ever mine. ...
The merry knave did misbehave
With Blanche the kitchen servant.
We must suppose he bit her nose
In loving way ...
(The thirteenth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Longfellow)
BESIDE the indented table he stood
His wood bat ...
There once was a gay caballero
Whose fortunes descended to zero;
He went to the bank
To replenish his tank...
See the house. How grim it stands
In its lonely solitude!
Feel the ghostly clammy hands
From the ...
Man cannot find more magical a place,
Decked in the robes of nature’s silk and lace
Where daisies ornament with ...
I laughed. The laugh went ringing far and wide;
Echoed, re-echoed in the empty air;
Flew mocking like a cackling ...
(The seventh of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Scott)
The rain was wet, the wind was cold,
IN the beginning God created man
In His own image; we are blest indeed;
Yet are we worthy of the ...
When everyone has gone to bed
I lie with earphones on my head,
And listen to the music sweet
(The eighth of the Black Hole Ballads)
The Man of Maths was Paddy,
Work not to him doth belong;
A darksome stillness broods o’er all,
The breeze is dank and chill,
And there beneath a covering pall
Its moonless ...
(The eleventh of the Black Hole Ballads)
THERE is a master whose name is Ned
And with his supple cane...
Being the Twenty-Fifth of the Black Hole Ballads
O Harry, do not shout that ranting song,
Don’t shout that ranting ...
ONCE I wandered
In the valley of a dream,
By the margin of a stream
As it slid with glance ...
(Prize Song in ‘Yn Chruinnaght’)
Up on Barrule there lived a man,
A man grey-haired and old;
He had a ...
THE trees went forth upon a time to choose
Who might among their number be their King;
And to the ...
(inspired by Matthew Arnold)
That night was felt a sense of tragedy,
A feeling that the Gods could not reject,...
The sun swims down, in golden splendour clad,
And earth prepares the coming night to meet;
The night urged on ...
AS far as my researches carry me
It seems as if the year can well be filled
With birthdays of ...
On Sunday evening we to chapel go
Along the road, and sit six in a row,
And listen to the ...
A mossy carpet spread
Beneath the tall trees,
And through the wood a singing stream
Soft gurgles on the way...
We are very busy
For this afternoon our Lizzie,
Not to mention little Ann and Isobel,
Will be duly chosen...
Ann is our Queen of the May;
Ann is our Queen of the May;
We’ll own her, and gown her,...
Dancing on the village green,
Dancing in the market square,
There is nothing to be seen
More exciting anywhere.
A sheet of water from a leaden sky
Fell solid, and damply clinging mist
Rose thick and white. The passing ...
(With apologies to Wm. Cowper)
Oh that my lips had language! Life has passed
With me from down town to ...
A sullen roar, as of a cagèd beast
That hurls its body forward in blind rage,
Leaping in vain to ...
Being the Nineteenth of the Black Hole Ballads
LOVE not me for comely grace,
For my pleasant handsome face,
(The Sixteenth of the Black Hold Ballads)
(With apologies to Sir Walter Scott)
AH! Lovely Gus, thine hour with us...
OH, I sighed, for I loved her, I loved her,
But her heart was as hard as the stone.
The sunlight glinted on the dockyard wall
Gilding the ugly brickwork, damp and dark,
And there within the hammers, busy ...
The sunlight glinted on the cottage wall,
Gilding its humble portal with a glow
That with Heaven’s tender radiance seemed ...
The sunlight glinted on the prison wall,
Gilding its ugly brickwork, grim and dour,
And there within a brazen bell ...
AS the thick red mist that comes creeping after
The fall of the sun in the fathomless deep,
When echoes ...
RAIN on the window and the lone wind sighing,
Sighing in the branches of the gaunt old elm-tree;
Sighing and ...
IT breathed in the glen
In the moonlight;
A mournful amen
In the moonlight.
The stream and the breeze
The lulled waters swell and murmur low
Beneath the crags and cliffs and come to rest
Upon the shingle in ...
SEE where the dusty highroad winds along
From London unto distant York, its line
Like some gigantic ribbon laid upon...
When all were settled to their own content
And gathered round the fire of blazing logs,
When new-trimmed lamp sent ...
I smile to think of Jimmy Sharpe
Who lives just down our street
He had a cannon quite as big...
What can this be here in this dusty loft,
What the light finds when I unclose the door,
This frame, ...
Oh, what if when fatigued with life’s unrest
And broken-spirited with burdens hard,
When from our sight all happiness in ...
Imagine a countryside
Peaceful and calm,
Some fields and some trees,
A stream and a farm.
A day of close ...
ONCE, when all was young, I came
Upon the earth.
Found that all things were the same,
(The twelfth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Longfellow)
UNDER a spreading Panama
That villain Smithy sits;
(The fifth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to Longfellow)
It was the sixth form classroom
On a cold ...
‘Father, there is no moon tonight,
The clouds are scudding swift and black,
Flying on through the stormy night –...
TOO little didst thou speak at any time;
In dim obscurity thy gentle glow
Thou let’st to burn; no we, ...
Furry bee, you great brown lump
Wandering from clump to clump
Of flowers and shrubs around the pump
Rusty in ...
Night claims its fee and takes to it the land,
And shadows lengthen; dusk on either hand
Makes dark spots ...
(from the French of A. de Larmartine)
When thy celestial songs prelude
The stillnesses of summer nights,
Winged songster of ...
Could I with half thy skill render my thought
In verse then were I blest indeed, and more –
Clip clop, up and down
We jerk and roll to Castletown;
Ruts, mounds, holes and stones
Give a shaking to ...
Death, why dost thou hard stare at me, I pray?
Why smilest thou in manner grimly cold?
And what is ...
Being the Eighteenth of the Black Hole Ballads.
Small stream that swirls ‘neath rustic span,
Apt emblem of a roguish ...
The sky was clear, the sky was blue. No cloud
Floated to mar the pure serenity
Of the deep ...
Sometimes the moon sails in the frosty sky
Like a white ship, majestic and supreme.
Sometimes it rises early then ...
(From the French of Pierre de Ronsard)
As one sees on a stem a rose in May
In all its ...
(From the French of Alfred de Musset)
PIPPA, when the shadows come
And your mother says goodnight;
When you kneel ...
Monarch of words, three hundred years hast thou
Reigned in a splendour only thine, and grown
In fame, and ever ...
Tom Brown, thy little Isle reveres thy name,
Poet magnificent! Thine immortal fame
Hath long outlived thee, and will long ...
If stars were gold dust sprinkled on a bed
Of purple velvet, and the moon a disc
Of pure white ...
Amy with her petal skin and hair of liquid gold
Has come from distant Liverpool to join our little fold,...
(The Seventeenth of the Black Hole Ballads)
WE fear thy words, oh gentle master;
Thou needest not fear ours;
Upon the warm brown rocks where we
sat watching silver spary,
Where sea-gulls wheeled and breezes blew
a golden sun-beam ...
Still finger pointing to the frosty stars
From out the glare and seething life below,
Grim and clear-cut against the ...
Whether we wish it, whether or no,
Someone will come to us, someone will go;
Someone will love us, someone ...
(The ninth of the Black Hole Ballads)
(With apologies to R.S. Hawker)
We saw them not, we could not hear...
WELL was it said by those we thought sedate
In all our youthful ardour when we came
Out from the ...
Did I take pen and with a far-off look
Sit me before a pile of foolscap high,
And with a ...
The lover lives but for a flashing glance
Of bright blue eyes ‘neath lashes long and dark,
Skywards then soars ...
A golden discourse and message bright,
Then broken off and left, a jagged edge;
Nothing but darkness, gone the heavenly ...
(Apologies to Mr. William Walshe)
Distracted with care
For ye Chocolate Eclayre
Since nothing could brook him
Ye Studente betook ...
The hill was steep, the road was hard
As upwards climbed the weary bard.
He dragged unwilling feet along
Among the strange immortals of our land,
Mona’s sweet isle, long famed in verse and song,
A creature that is ...