Cobbler Cain


(Apologies to Coleridge)

AT Kerrowhdhoo did Cobbler Cain
A splendid pleasure ground decree,
Where Ballacottier’s river ran
Through valleys beautiful in Man
Down to the Irish Sea.
So some three miles of fertile ground
With walls and rails were girdled round;
And there were gardens made with many spades,
Where planted soon to blossom many a rose;
And here were little nooks and cunning glades,
Enticing weary limbs to seek repose.
But, oh! that deep romantic man had planted
Down the green hill a thorn plantation cover,
A savage place, and wholly disenchanted
To any who might wander there undaunted,
Some maiden waiting for her tepid lover.
And from the cover, with ceaseless turmoil, dreamers
Plastered with earth, unfastened pants in streamers,
Out every morning potently were forced
By Cobbler Cain to labour till they burst.
Huge cragments vaulted he required them lift
And place again where dancers’ footsteps swift
Would to the music of a known Dance Band
Spend the full hours in Man’s holiday land.
And ‘mid the tumult Cobbler uttered chuckles
A-thinking of the business and the shekels.

But a shadow on the ground of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves
For no one seemed to have the leisure
For his fountains and his caves;
It took a miracle to the get them there
And having got them, to provide interesting fare.

A damsel with a dulcimer
Only derision greeter her;
And all the dancing Simian mais
Received loud cat-calls and tirades.
Something of Mount Onchana
Were needed to revive the place,
Or organised gymkhana
With many a game and race.
And though all cried, Beware! Beware!
Old Cobbler thought ‘twould not be fair
To copy someone else’s dream;
So closed his eyes and sought his bed,
And smoked his honeydew instead,
And supped on barrels of ice-cream.

Sept., 1927