LAMENT FOR CONNEMARA

Robert Rock

Connemara
A. Lydon

Our last trip to Connemara was in July 2016 when we spent a glorious wet week based in Letterfrack. My wife and I then were 81 and we were joined by family and relatives numbering 10 at times. This was our last trip as the drive from Youghal is becoming to long for us. The following lines were inspired by my emotions on our last trip South.

LAMENT FOR CONNEMARA

I will not forget you though I shall return no more
ne’er see again your crystal brooks or your wave sculpted shore.
Those mountains bleak,majestic, ’though carven from the sky,
the valley lakes reflecting, the clouds slow drifting bye

I shall not return to Delphi, where the salmon leap and play
and the murmur of the river seems to steal you cares away,
the russets,greens and purples,the sparking of the wears
and you think if ther’s a heaven,you will surely find it here

Then ther’s a place at Ashley,where the river stops and falls
and the sound like distant thunder keeps the tourists there enthralled
while you watch in joyous wonder and a Summer shower descends
the sun peers through the raincloud to reveal a rainbows end

I wander on through old Lenane upon the Clifden main
to see the bog ,the streams,the lakes,the mountains draped in rain
and there afar on yonder bank an old man wields the slane
it bleeds my heart to know I’ll never see these sights again.

That vived patch ’round weathered shack an emerald in the sun
by wretched men in ancient times from the barren rock was won,
all day the’d toil just skin and bone to spread peat, lime and s’weed
and when ’twas done and Spring had come they sowed the precious seed

Sometimes I think beneath the stars of Connemara lore
the Joyces the O’Flahertys, the O’Malleys ruled the shore
brave chieftains all, no man thought small, all men were born free
then came the foreign nobles to usurp their liberty.

The clans now fought in unity as they’d never done before,
those valient men from hill and glen put the saxons to the sword
the English were in disarray, those violent days of yore
in their coats of mail they hoisted sail and fled our native shore

Fine evenings spent just lingering on Letterfrack’s pier and strands,
a fisherman loads his lobster pots,I yearn to lend a hand.
A Hooker breasts the ocean waves, it’s red sails steal the wind,
the sun sets o;er your thousand isles,another day must end.

Those mystic names remembered as I wandered to and fro
Carna and Kilkerrin Rosmuc and Costello,
where the menfolk plied their living in their crafts of cloth and tar
to feed their hungry children, saught the herring near and far

where the brave stout hearted women,tense and sleepless
in the night,
of the horror that might greet them
at the dawn of morning light, of the whispers ‘long the headlands
sea wrecked currach on the shore
hears the fruit of their foreboding, they would see their men no more

Though I am grieved to leave you I am glad you’ll still be there,
in your ruggedness and beauty and your heather scented air
you’ll fill aching hearts with gladness, you will mend each aching wound
of the seekers of your solace when your potion the’ve consumed

As I head back through Oughterard, upon my homeward way,
I am thinking of the sights and sounds, that blessed my too short stay,
I am thinking of the weather as it changed from hour to hour
of the verges of the boreens, ablaze with Summer’s flowers,
of the mountains dark and brooding,their cascading brooks and burns
as I drive on quitely weeping, for I know I’ll not return

This page was added on 17/11/2021.

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