Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 220th birthday.

James Clarence Mangan
1803 – 1849


Long they pine in weary woe — the nobles of our land —
Long they wander to and fro, proscribed, alas! and banned;
Feastless, houseless, altarless, they bear the exie’s brand,
But their hope is in the coming-to of Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

Think not her a ghastly hag, too hideous to be seen;
Call her not unseemly names, our matchless Kathaleen;
Young she is, and fair she is, and would be crowned a qeeen,
Were the king’s son at home here with Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

Sweet and mild would look her face — Oh! none so sweet and mild —
Could she crush the foes by whom her beauty is reviled;
Woolen plaids would grace herself and robes of silk her child,
If the king’s son were living here with Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

Sore disgrace it is to see the Arbitress of thrones
Vassal to a Saxoneen of cold and hapless bones!
Bitter anguish wrings our souls — with heavy sighs and groans
We wait the Young Deliverer of Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

Let us pray to Him who holds life’s issues in His hands,
Him who formed the mighty globe, with all his thousand lands;
Girding them with sea and mountains, rivers deep, and strands,
To cast a look of pity upon Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

He, who over sands and waves led Israel along —
He who fed, with heavenly bread, that chosen tribe and throng;
He who stood by Moses when his foes were fierce and strong,
May He show forth His might in saving Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.

Written in Claverton Church Yard, Somersetshire

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 250th birthday.

J.S. Anna Liddiard
Irish 1773 – 1819


Death’s sleep soon flies;—They’ll wake again,
To scorn past life, so full of pain!
‘Tis we that sleep—‘tis we that dream—
Altho’ so much awake we seem;
Awake! —alas! —one dream is Life,
A Phantasma—a scene of strife—
By folly led, by passions torn,
Until we reach Life’s destined bourn!

On the Ning Nang Nong

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 105th birthday.

Spike Milligan
1918 – 2002


On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There’s a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

The Exile to His Country

We present this work in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Mary Anne Holmes
1773 – 1805


Ah! where is now my peaceful cot?
And where my happy home?
Far distant from that cherished spot,
In banishment, I roam.
From thee, my country! I am driven;
A wanderer forced from thee;
But yet my constant prayer to Heaven
Shall be to make thee free.

How blissful once my lot appeared!
How brightly Fortune smiled!
My daily toil by hope was cheered,
By happiness beguiled.
My blooming children played around;
Their mother blessed each hour;
Till tyrants on our prospects frowned,
And crushed us with their power.
They burned our humble dwelling then
Our little all destroyed;
And left us, the hard-hearted men!
Of every hope devoid.
And thus, my country! I was driven,
A wanderer far from thee;
But yet my ceaseless prayer to Heaven
Has been to make thee free

My helpless children sobbed aloud
Upon the parting day;
My Mary’s head with grief was bowed;
Oh how I wished to stay!
With anguish o’er the spot we mourned,
Where long our cottage stood;
And, as we went, we often turned
To view the neighbouring wood.
And when our vessel put to sea,
As dimmer grew the shore,
My bosom panted heavily,
To think that, never more,
My eyes upon that land should gaze,
Where all my youth was spent;
And where I thought to end my days,
In virtue and content.

Can virtue make content secure,
While tyrants may destroy
The simple blessings of the poor,
And blast their rising joy?
My loved, lost Country! ruined, driven,
An exile far from thee,
My last and fondest prayer to Heaven
Shall be to make thee free.

The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna

We present this work in honor of the 200th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Charles Wolfe
1791 – 1823


Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light
And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him,–
But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring:
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But left him alone with his glory.

Abdul Abulbul Amir

Percy French
1854 – 1920


The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah,
Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
For Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
In the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun
And donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Young man, quoth Abdul, has life grown so dull
That you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel, know, you have trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

So take your last look at the sunshine and brook
And send your regrets to the Czar
For by this I imply, you are going to die,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibouk,
Singing, “Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!”
And with murderous intent he ferociously went
For Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed,
Of blood they spilled a great part;
The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes,
Say that hash was first made on the spot.

They fought all that night neath the pale yellow moon;
The din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,
Of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

As Abdul’s long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he was shouting, “Huzzah!”
He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly,
Expecting the victor to cheer,
But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh,
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

There’s a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,
And graved there in characters clear,
Is, “Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.”

A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night
Caused ripples to spread wide and far,
It was made by a sack fitting close to the back,
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,
‘Neath the light of the cold northern star,
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
Is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The Planter’s Daughter

Austin Clarke
1896 – 1974


When night stirred at sea
And the fire brought a crowd in,
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.

Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went —
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly.
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.

The Witch-Bride

We present this honor of Halloween.

William Allingham
1824 – 1889


A fair witch crept to a young man’s side,
And he kiss’d her and took her for his bride.

But a Shape came in at the dead of night,
And fill’d the room with snowy light.

And he saw how in his arms there lay
A thing more frightful than mouth may say.

And he rose in haste, and follow’d the Shape
Till morning crown’d an eastern cape.

And he girded himself, and follow’d still
When sunset sainted the western hill.

But, mocking and thwarting, clung to his side,
Weary day!—the foul Witch-Bride.


W.R. Rodgers
1909 – 1969


The roads of Europe are running away from the war,
Running fast over the mined bridge and past the men
Waiting there, with watch, ready to maim and arrest them,
And strong overhead the long snorings of the planes’ tracks
Are stretching like rafters from end to end of their power.
Turn back, you who want to escape or want to forget
The ruin of all your regards. You will be more free
At the thoughtless centre of slaughter than you would be
Standing chained to the telephone-end while the world cracks.