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Punch and Judy–
his grip
tightens

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Punch And Judy

Gather 'round!)
Punch and Judy did it truly and were married in a haste
In love, maybe, using the baby as a kind of romance paste
She's grown fatter, her hair cut shorter, looks much older than nineteen
He's a drinker not a thinker, baby spoiled his could have been
This must be make-believe
This must be make-believe
This must be make-believe
'Cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
oh oh oh oh!
Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy in a semi on a brand new council plot
Sunday lunchtime, beer-for-Punch time, while his dinner's far from hot
She grows tired, cab is hired, she goes round to see her friend
He comes back late, fool is irate, we will see his temperament
Punch and Judy in a quandary, she's walked out and he is mad
Now he's grown up, can't smash home up, retribution must be had
Punch and Judy had a baby who brought them to married bliss
Mr Punch has drunken hunch that he must punish kid for this
Punch and Judy

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Punch And Judy

Gather 'round!)
Punch and Judy did it truly and were married in a haste
In love, maybe, using the baby as a kind of romance paste
She's grown fatter, her hair cut shorter, looks much older than nineteen
He's a drinker not a thinker, baby spoiled his could have been
This must be make-believe
This must be make-believe
This must be make-believe
'Cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
oh oh oh oh!
Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy in a semi on a brand new council plot
Sunday lunchtime, beer-for-Punch time, while his dinner's far from hot
She grows tired, cab is hired, she goes round to see her friend
He comes back late, fool is irate, we will see his temperament
Punch and Judy in a quandary, she's walked out and he is mad
Now he's grown up, can't smash home up, retribution must be had
Punch and Judy had a baby who brought them to married bliss
Mr Punch has drunken hunch that he must punish kid for this
Punch and Judy

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Punch And Judy

a wallflower punch talks to judy
in a crowded corner where anybody can listen in
but they don't read page to page or speak easy
now they're gonna go say the words
in the wrong order again
they walk in a circle
through all the sidewalk scenes they used to be apart of one time
now everybody just stares and whispers
driving around up and down division street
i used to like it here
it just bums me out to remember
can't you ever treat anyone nice?
i think i'm gonna make the same mistake twice
they draw the curtain
wait for a call
pretty lucky if they get any kind of response at all
can't you ever treat anyone nice?
i think i'm gonna make the same mistake twice
i'm gonna make the same mistake twice

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Punch & Judy

Gather round!
Punch and judy,
Did it truly,
And were married in a haste,
In love, maybe,
Using the baby,
As a kind of romance paste,
Shes grown fatter,
Her hair cut shorter,
Looks much older than nineteen,
Hes a drinker,
Not a thinker,
Baby spoiled his could-have-been.
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy.
Punch and judy,
In a semi,
On a brand new council plot,
Sunday lunchtime,
Beer-for-punch time,
While his dinners far from hot,
She grows tired,
Cab is hired,
She goes round to see her friend,
He comes back late,
Fool is irate,
We will see his temper bend.
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy,
In a quandary,
Shes walked out, and he is mad.
Now hes grown up,
Cant smash home up,
Retribution must be had.
Punch and judy,
Had a baby,
Who brought them to married bliss.
Mr punch,,
Has drunken hunch,
That he must punish kid for this
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy

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Punch & Judy

Gather round!
Punch and judy,
Did it truly,
And were married in a haste,
In love, maybe,
Using the baby,
As a kind of romance paste,
Shes grown fatter,
Her hair cut shorter,
Looks much older than nineteen,
Hes a drinker,
Not a thinker,
Baby spoiled his could-have-been.
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy.
Punch and judy,
In a semi,
On a brand new council plot,
Sunday lunchtime,
Beer-for-punch time,
While his dinners far from hot,
She grows tired,
Cab is hired,
She goes round to see her friend,
He comes back late,
Fool is irate,
We will see his temper bend.
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy,
In a quandary,
Shes walked out, and he is mad.
Now hes grown up,
Cant smash home up,
Retribution must be had.
Punch and judy,
Had a baby,
Who brought them to married bliss.
Mr punch,,
Has drunken hunch,
That he must punish kid for this
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
This must be make-believe,
cos who do we know, dear, who acts like that?
Punch and judy

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Punch & Judy

(fish / marillion)
Punch
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Washing machine, pinstripe dream
Stripped the gloss from a beauty queen
Punch and judy, judy
Found our nest, in the daily express
Met the vicar in a holy vest
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Brought up the children church of e
Now I vegetate with a colour tv
Worst ever thing that ever happened to me
Oh, for d.i.v.o.r.c.e.
Oh judy
Whatever happened to pillow fights
Whatever happened to jeans so tight, friday nights
Whatever happened to lovers lane
Whatever happened to passion games
Sunday walks in the pouring rain
Punch
Punch
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch
Punch
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Curling tongs, mogadons, I got a headache baby, dont take so long
Single beds, middle age dread
Losing the war in the waistlands spread
Who left the cap of the toothpaste tube
Who forgot to flush the loo
Leave your sweaty socks outside the door
Dont walk across my polished floor, oh judy
Whatever happened to morning smiles
Whatever happened to wicked wiles, permissive styles
Whatever happened to twinkling eyes
Whatever happened to hard fast drives
Complements on unnatural size
Punch
Punch
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch
Punch
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Punch and judy
Propping up a bar, family car
Sweating out a mortgage as a balding clerk
Punch and judy, judy
World war three, suburbanshee
Just slip her these pills and Ill be free.
No more judy
Judy, judy no more!
Goodbye judy!

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5. A Punch-up

Punch and Judy always fighting
Crocodile is always biting
Baby crying Punch looks rough
Judy says she’s had enough

She leaves Punch to baby mind
He’s lost baby cannot find
Searching high and searching low
Punch thinks Judy mustn’t know

Judy’s back she had a hunch
With a stick she batters Punch
Policeman comes to stop the fighting
Sausages the croc is biting

Punch arrested took to jail
Judy searching starts to wail
Baby found beneath a bush
Fast asleep a little hush

Judy goes back to the station
Told the police with much elation
Punch released it made him smile
Till he got chased home by the crocodile


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Green Signal

I cannot stop her pallets of love
And to me she is like a beautiful dove
I will be a man without her as a man without vim
Infuse into her breath to either float or swim
No more sleeping pills no more time to kill
Love works wonder have everything to fulfill
To vainly glorify or not is not the case
To mould the fate of frolicsome race
And to speak the genre of truth as it is
Because the heart meets where the breath is
No one knows engagement as substantial need
Signing the oath as you count the bead
Sowing the seeds in the veritable bed of smug
Letting punch-and-Judy-show to harvest like a sparkplug

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Gignol

Addict of Punch and Judy shows
I was when I was small;
My kiddy laughter, I suppose,
Rang louder than them all.
The Judge with banter I would bait,
The Copper was a wretch;
But oh how I would hiss my hate
For grim Jack Ketch.

Although a grandsire grey I still
Love Punch and Judy shows,
And with my toddlers help to fill
Enthusiastic rows.
How jolly is their mirth to see,
And what a sigh they fetch,
When Punch begs to be shown and he
Jerks up Jack Ketch.

Heigh ho! No more I watch the play;
It is the audience
That gives me my delight today,--
Such charm of innocence!
Immortal mimes! It seems to me,
Could I re-live my span,
With gusto I would like to be
A Punch and Judy Man.

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Stalin Malone

I'm going to make you even fear the dream you dream
So don't even think about it don't make a wish
You think that i don't see you as you trawl those young weak fish
Hooked on those poor wonders, 'til they want you alone
Though they can't tell a cuckoo-clock from the squeals of saxophones
That's when they'll fear my name
Stalin malone
I'm telling you the day will come when this man gets what he merits
Though people still wear animal skins to ward off evil spirits
Only wife-swapping and witchcraft woke the dormitory town
'til horse's heads up in the trees came dripping down
Yes, horse's heads up hung in the trees after the bird had flown
Did you wonder of my whereabouts as the barrack-room was blown
Did anybody call my name?
Stalin malone
In a room called creation, where you all obey my laws
Where seconal is gravity and pain is like applause
You think that this phenomenon is some coincidence
But i've got people everywhere, you're under
My surveillance, in the pocket of my pants
Okay, she left me, but i'll soon get over that
Falling out of the "blood tub" and rolling, on my back
Waking up to the one o'clock gun with a punch and judy bird
Reaching out for a gelignite beer that fills me up with murder
To overhear forbidden songs her lover must have known
Between the pity and advice...
"there's no one here to help you now, but speak after the tone"
Leave for me a message of hope
Stalin malone
Now the church door is a roller-shutter with padlocks and keys
Just like all of the other dispensaries
The saloon is like a casket, stained wood and human dust
Stale with conversation that hangs on your clothes like smoke
The wooden clock said she would dance dressed only in flower
As the jazz band drowns the hysterical bird that it spits out on the hour
I'd drop out of sight and disappear, turn up in another town, but somehow
I just can't seem to put it down, put it down, put it down
I just want to hold her now in that i'm not alone
But do i have to see her fall into his arms before i can atone..
Get my jacket on, get my story straight, i'm leaving on my own

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We climbed that hill,

We climbed that hill,
The road flushed red in pride
At being beauty's boundary. Either side
Stretched beauty, beauty ever, beauty still.
For on the left
Rose sandhills bound together by the deft
Long fingers of sea-grass,
Humped like the Punch and Judy of a farce,
Comical, cleft
With gaps for wind to pass,
Spotted
With dark
Clumped tea-tree, stark
With rushes, fierce with burrs,
Blotted
With purple earth,
Stains, remnants, marks of birth
On too-exuberant beauty.
On the right
Long paddocks stooped under a cloudy sky.
'They're lovely paddocks. Look at them,' you said.
I turned my head.
What I'd thought gray
Was seen
To be the young beginning of live green
Under a spray
Of ghostly weed-stalks—lilacs, mauves and blues
At interplay—
A delicate tracery of shadow hues.
'There's colour,' I began
And straightway knew
I saw what you
Saw not, and yet your vision was not mine.
Your eyes were on the line
The sweep and curve of the fields against the sky.
You'd heard
My poor beginning of a word.
I had no more to praise
An unfamiliar loveliness. To gaze
Was all my praise.
At the hilltop it was your turn to say
'There's colour.' You had found
Silver and gold on my Tom Tiddler's ground.
At the roadside
A clump of grasses, all
Caught round a little bush and tangled, tied
With unimagined colours people call
Green when they see them. This was treasure spied
By your eyes with my soul.
You'd liked the whole
Broad sweep of things, had scarcely seen such small
Jewel incidents until
I showed you, who had never watched a hill
Remote in contemplation 'neath far, far skies,
Except with eyes
That had no mind to see
A present beauty, only what might be
If distance were annihilate.
And then,
Where the road crossed the creek we could not cross,
We found again
Our power of sight redoubled by the loss
Of what I'd planned.
You said it was no sense
To pull off shoes and fasten up a skirt
And plunge through dirt
And mud
And water, water
Muddy,
Ruddy,
As zinnias and paint-water and a flood
Of heavy auburn hair. We'd better go
Round by the beach,
Not by the cliffs, to reach
That farthest cliff
I wanted to see tower
Above the waves in colour and in power,
More solid than the sky.
And so
We turned
Seaward among the sea-grass. I had learned
Some of your alien sense of beauty, line
Preferred to colour, distance to the near.
For it was I
Who saw
The lovely curve of the creek.
But the whole shore
Yellow, untrodden, (more
The loveliest thing of our whole lovely week
For subtle curve, unbroken surface, than
For colour) this wide shore
Was yours and mine
And yours and mine the foam
When it would shine
Flower-coloured in a glint of sun. But mine
The hurry
And swift scurry
Of wind-blown tea-tree up the cliff.
We gave
A double dower
Of beauty to each wave
That trailed its hair in the wind before it broke.
For all the power
Of alien philosophies awoke
Our power of sight.
You still proclaim the far
Eternal unity of things that are
Like Plato and the mountains. I prefer
Inchoate beauty, for my part aver
Plurality essential, am content
To find a gain in difference, in a while
Admit there's gain in union. Argument
Recurs. Oh well, at any rate we know
That walk was lovely;
Ecstasies of mind
And subtle mysteries of sight combined
With the dear love of friends to make it so.

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The Great Hunger

I
Clay is the word and clay is the flesh
Where the potato-gatherers like mechanised scarecrows move
Along the side-fall of the hill - Maguire and his men.
If we watch them an hour is there anything we can prove
Of life as it is broken-backed over the Book
Of Death? Here crows gabble over worms and frogs
And the gulls like old newspapers are blown clear of the hedges, luckily.
Is there some light of imagination in these wet clods?
Or why do we stand here shivering?
Which of these men
Loved the light and the queen
Too long virgin? Yesterday was summer. Who was it promised marriage to himself
Before apples were hung from the ceilings for Hallowe'en?
We will wait and watch the tragedy to the last curtain,
Till the last soul passively like a bag of wet clay
Rolls down the side of the hill, diverted by the angles
Where the plough missed or a spade stands, straitening the way.
A dog lying on a torn jacket under a heeled-up cart,
A horse nosing along the posied headland, trailing
A rusty plough. Three heads hanging between wide-apart legs.
October playing a symphony on a slack wire paling.
Maguire watches the drills flattened out
And the flints that lit a candle for him on a June altar
Flameless. The drills slipped by and the days slipped by
And he trembled his head away and ran free from the world's halter,
And thought himself wiser than any man in the townland
When he laughed over pints of porter
Of how he came free from every net spread
In the gaps of experience. He shook a knowing head
And pretended to his soul
That children are tedious in hurrying fields of April
Where men are spanning across wide furrows.
Lost in the passion that never needs a wife
The pricks that pricked were the pointed pins of harrows.
Children scream so loud that the crows could bring
The seed of an acre away with crow-rude jeers.
Patrick Maguire, he called his dog and he flung a stone in the air
And hallooed the birds away that were the birds of the years.
Turn over the weedy clods and tease out the tangled skeins.
What is he looking for there?
He thinks it is a potato, but we know better
Than his mud-gloved fingers probe in this insensitive hair.
'Move forward the basket and balance it steady
In this hollow. Pull down the shafts of that cart, Joe,
And straddle the horse,' Maguire calls.
'The wind's over Brannagan's, now that means rain.
Graip up some withered stalks and see that no potato falls
Over the tail-board going down the ruckety pass -
And that's a job we'll have to do in December,
Gravel it and build a kerb on the bog-side. Is that Cassidy's ass
Out in my clover? Curse o' God
Where is that dog?.
Never where he's wanted' Maguire grunts and spits
Through a clay-wattled moustache and stares about him from the height.
His dream changes like the cloud-swung wind
And he is not so sure now if his mother was right
When she praised the man who made a field his bride.
Watch him, watch him, that man on a hill whose spirit
Is a wet sack flapping about the knees of time.
He lives that his little fields may stay fertile when his own body
Is spread in the bottom of a ditch under two coulters crossed in Christ's Name.
He was suspicious in his youth as a rat near strange bread,
When girls laughed; when they screamed he knew that meant
The cry of fillies in season. He could not walk
The easy road to destiny. He dreamt
The innocence of young brambles to hooked treachery.
O the grip, O the grip of irregular fields! No man escapes.
It could not be that back of the hills love was free
And ditches straight.
No monster hand lifted up children and put down apes
As here.
'O God if I had been wiser!'
That was his sigh like the brown breeze in the thistles.
He looks, towards his house and haggard. 'O God if I had been wiser!'
But now a crumpled leaf from the whitethorn bushes
Darts like a frightened robin, and the fence
Shows the green of after-grass through a little window,
And he knows that his own heart is calling his mother a liar
God's truth is life - even the grotesque shapes of his foulest fire.
The horse lifts its head and cranes
Through the whins and stones
To lip late passion in the crawling clover.
In the gap there's a bush weighted with boulders like morality,
The fools of life bleed if they climb over.
The wind leans from Brady's, and the coltsfoot leaves are holed with rust,
Rain fills the cart-tracks and the sole-plate grooves;
A yellow sun reflects in Donaghmoyne
The poignant light in puddles shaped by hooves.
Come with me, Imagination, into this iron house
And we will watch from the doorway the years run back,
And we will know what a peasant's left hand wrote on the page.
Be easy, October. No cackle hen, horse neigh, tree sough, duck quack.

II
Maguiire was faithful to death:
He stayed with his mother till she died
At the age of ninety-one.
She stayed too long,
Wife and mother in one.
When she died
The knuckle-bones were cutting the skin of her son's backside
And he was sixty-five.
O he loved his mother
Above all others.
O he loved his ploughs
And he loved his cows
And his happiest dream
Was to clean his arse
With perennial grass
On the bank of some summer stream;
To smoke his pipe
In a sheltered gripe
In the middle of July.
His face in a mist
And two stones in his fist
And an impotent worm on his thigh.
But his passion became a plague
For he grew feeble bringing the vague
Women of his mind to lust nearness,
Once a week at least flesh must make an appearance.
So Maguire got tired
Of the no-target gun fired
And returned to his headland of carrots and cabbage
To the fields once again
Where eunuchs can be men
And life is more lousy than savage.

III .
Poor Paddy Maguire, a fourteen-hour day
He worked for years. It was he that lit the fire
And boiled the kettle and gave the cows their hay.
His mother tall hard as a Protestant spire
Came down the stairs barefoot at the kettle-call
And talked to her son sharply: 'Did you let
The hens out, you?' She had a venomous drawl
And a wizened face like moth-eaten leatherette.
Two black cats peeped between the banisters
And gloated over the bacon-fizzling pan.
Outside the window showed tin canisters.
The snipe of Dawn fell like a whirring stone
And Patrick on a headland stood alone.
The pull is on the traces, it is March
And a cold black wind is blowing from Dundalk.
The twisting sod rolls over on her back
The virgin screams before the irresistible sock.
No worry on Maguire's mind this day
Except that he forgot to bring his matches.
'Hop back there Polly, hoy back, woa, wae,
From every second hill a neighbour watches
With all the sharpened interest of rivalry.
Yet sometimes when the sun comes through a gap
These men know God the Father in a tree:
The Holy Spirit is the rising sap,
And Christ will be the green leaves that will come
At Easter from the sealed and guarded tomb.
Primroses and the unearthly start of ferns
Among the blackthorn shadows in the ditch,
A dead sparrow and an old waistcoat. Maguire learns
As the horses turn slowly round the which is which
Of love and fear and things half born to mind
He stands between the plough-handles and he sees
At the end of a long furrow his name signed
Among the poets, prostitutes. With all miseries
He is one. Here with the unfortunate
Who for half-moments of paradise
Pay out good days and wait and wait
For sunlight-woven cloaks. O to be wise
As Respectability that knows the price of all things
And marks God's truth in pounds and pence and farthings.

IV
April, and no one able to calculate
How far it is to harvest. They put down
The seeds blindly with sensuous groping fingers
And sensual dreams sleep dreams subtly underground.
Tomorrow is Wednesday - who cares?
'Remember Eileen Farrelly? I was thinking
A man might do a damned sight worse …' That voice is blown
Through a hole in a garden wall -
And who was Eileen now cannot be known.
The cattle are out on grass
The corn is coming up evenly.
The farm folk are hurrying to catch Mass:
Christ will meet them at the end of the world, the slow and the speedier.
But the fields say: only Time can bless.
Maguire knelt beside a pillar where he could spit
Without being seen. He turned an old prayer round:
'Jesus, Mary, Joseph pray for us
Now and at the Hour.' Heaven dazzled death.
'Wonder should I cross-plough that turnip-ground.'
The tension broke. The congregation lifted it head
As one man and coughed in unison.
Five hundred hearts were hungry for life-
Who lives in Christ shall never die the death.
And the candle-lit Altar and the flowers
And the pregnant Tabernacle lifted a moment to Prophecy
Out of the clayey hours
Maguire sprinkled his face with holy water
As the congregation stood up for the Last Gospel.
He rubbed the dust off his knees with his palm, and then
Coughed the prayer phlegm up from his throat and sighed: Amen.
Once one day in June when he was walking
Among his cattle in the Yellow Meadow
He met a girl carrying a basket
And he was then a young and heated fellow.
Too earnest, too earnest! He rushed beyond the thing
To the unreal. And he saw Sin
Written in letters larger than John Bunyan dreamt of.
For the strangled impulse there is no redemption.
And that girl was gone and he was counting
The dangers in the fields where love ranted
He was helpless. He saw his cattle
And stroked their flanks in lieu of wife to handle.
He would have changed the circle if he could,
The circle that was the grass track where he ran.
Twenty times a day he ran round the field
And still there was no winning-post where the runner is cheered home.
Desperately he broke the tune,
But however he tried always the same melody lept up from the background,
The dragging step of a ploughman going home through the guttery
Headlands under an April-watery moon.
Religion, the fields and the fear of the Lord
And Ignorance giving him the coward's blow,
He dared not rise to pluck the fantasies
From the fruited Tree of Life. He bowed his head
And saw a wet weed twined about his toe.

V
Evening at the cross-roads -
Heavy heads nodding out words as wise
As the ruminations of cows after milking.
From the ragged road surface a boy picks up
A piece of gravel and stares at it-and then
Tosses it across the elm tree on to the railway.
He means nothing.
Not a damn thing
Somebody is coming over the metal railway bridge
And his hobnailed boots on the arches sound like a gong
Calling men awake. But the bridge is too narrow -
The men lift their heads a moment. That was only John,
So they dream on.
Night in the elms, night in the grass.
O we are too tired to go home yet. Two cyclists pass
Talking loudly of Kitty and Molly?
Horses or women? wisdom or folly?
A door closes on an evicted dog
Where prayers begin in Barney Meegan's kitchen :
Rosie curses the cat between her devotions;
The daughter prays that she may have three wishes -
Health and wealth and love -
From the fairy who is faith or hope or compounds of.
At the cross-roads the crowd had thinned out:
Last words were uttered. There is no to-morrow;
No future but only time stretched for the mowing of the hay
Or putting an axle in the turf-barrow.
Patrick Maguire went home and made cocoa
And broke a chunk off the loaf of wheaten bread;
His mother called down to him to look again
And make sure that the hen-house was locked. His sister grunted in bed
The sound of a sow taking up a new position.
Pat opened his trousers wide over the ashes
And dreamt himself to lewd sleepiness.
The clock ticked on. Time passes.

VI
Health and wealth and love he too dreamed of in May
As he sat on the railway slope and watched the children of the place
Picking up a primrose here and a daisy there -
They were picking up life's truth singly.
But he dreamt of the Absolute envased bouquet -
AIl or nothing. And it was nothing. For God is not all
In one place, complete
Till Hope comes in and takes it on his shoulder -
O Christ, that is what you have done for us:
In a crumb of bread the whole mystery is.
He read the symbol too sharply and turned
From the five simple doors of sense
To the door whose combination lock has puzzled
Philosopher and priest and common dunce.
Men build their heavens as they build their circles
Of friends. God is in the bits and pieces of Everyday -
A kiss here and a laugh again, and sometimes tears,
A pearl necklace round the neck of poverty.
He sat on the railway slope and watched the evening,
Too beautifully perfect to use,
And his three wishes were three stones too sharp to sit on,
Too hard to carve. Three frozen idols of a speechless muse.

VII
'Now go to Mass and pray and confess your sins
And you'll have all the luck,' his mother said.
He listened to the lie that is a woman's screen
Around a conscience when soft thighs are spread.
And all the while she was setting up the lie
She trusted in Nature that never deceives.
But her son took it as literal truth.
Religion's walls expand to the push of nature. Morality yields
To sense - but not in little tillage fields.
Life went on like that. One summer morning
Again through a hay-field on her way to the shop -
The grass was wet and over-leaned the path -
And Agnes held her skirts sensationally up,
And not because the grass was wet either.
A man was watching her, Patrick Maguire.
She was in love with passion and its weakness
And the wet grass could never cool the fire
That radiated from her unwanted womb in that metaphysical land
Where flesh was thought more spiritual than music
Among the stars - out of reach of the peasant's hand.
Ah, but the priest was one of the people too -
A farmers son - and surely he knew
The needs of a brother and sister.
Religion could not be a counter-irritant like a blister,
But the certain standard, measured and known
By which man might re-make his soul though all walls were down
And all earth's pedestalled gods thrown.

VIII
Sitting on a wooden gate,
Sitting on a wooden gate,
Sitting on a wooden gate
He didn't care a damn.
Said whatever came into his head,
Said whatever came into his head,
Said whatever came into his head
And inconsequently sang.
While his world withered away,
He had a cigarette to smoke and a pound to spend
On drink the next Saturday.
His cattle were fat
And his horses all that
Midsummer grass could make them.
The young women ran wild
And dreamed of a child
Joy dreams though the fathers might forsake them
But no one would take them;
No man could ever see
That their skirts had loosed buttons,
O the men were as blind as could be.
And Patrick Maguire
From his. purgatory fire
Called the gods of the Christian to prove
That this twisted skein
Was the necessary pain
And not the rope that was strangling true love.
But sitting on a wooden gate
Sometime in July
When he was thirty-four or five
He gloried in the lie:
He made it read the way it should,
He made life read the evil good
While he cursed the ascetic brotherhood
Without knowing why.
Sitting on a wooden gate
All, all alone
He sang and laughed
Like a man quite daft,
Or like a man on a channel raft
He fantasied forth his groan.
Sitting on a wooden gate,
Sitting on a wooden gate,
Sitting on a wooden gate
He rode in day-dream cars.
He locked his body with his knees
When the gate swung too much in the breeze.
But while he caught high ecstasies
Life slipped between the bars.

IX
He gave himself another year,
Something was bound to happen before then -
The circle would break down
And he would carve the new one to his own will.
A new rhythm is a new life
And in it marriage is hung and money.
He would be a new man walking through unbroken meadows
Of dawn in the year of One.
The poor peasant talking to himself in a stable door
An ignorant peasant deep in dung.
What can the passers-by think otherwise?
Where is his silver bowl of knowledge hung?
Why should men be asked to believe in a soul
That is only the mark of a hoof in guttery gaps?
A man is what is written on the label.
And the passing world stares but no one stops
To look closer. So back to the growing crops
And the ridges he never loved.
Nobody will ever know how much tortured poetry the pulled weeds on the ridge wrote
Before they withered in the July sun,
Nobody will ever read the wild, sprawling, scrawling mad woman's signature,
The hysteria and the boredom of the enclosed nun of his thought.
Like the afterbirth of a cow stretched on a branch in the wind
Life dried in the veins of these women and men:
'The grey and grief and unloved,
The bones in the backs of their hands,
And the chapel pressing its low ceiling over them.
Sometimes they did laugh and see the sunlight,
A narrow slice of divine instruction.
Going along the river at the bend of Sunday
The trout played in the pools encouragement
To jump in love though death bait the hook.
And there would be girls sitting on the grass banks of lanes.
Stretch-legged and lingering staring -
A man might take one of them if he had the courage.
But 'No' was in every sentence of their story
Except when the public-house came in and shouted its piece.
The yellow buttercups and the bluebells among the whin bushes
On rocks in the middle of ploughing
Was a bright spoke in the wheel
Of the peasant's mill.
The goldfinches on the railway paling were worth looking at -
A man might imagine then
Himself in Brazil and these birds the birds of paradise
And the Amazon and the romance traced on the school map lived again.
Talk in evening corners and under trees
Was like an old book found in a king's tomb.
The children gathered round like students and listened
And some of the saga defied the draught in the open tomb
And was not blown.

X
Their intellectual life consisted in reading
Reynolds News or the Sunday Dispatch,
With sometimes an old almanac brought down from the ceiling
Or a school reader brown with the droppings of thatch.
The sporting results or the headlines of war
Was a humbug profound as the highbrow's Arcana.
Pat tried to be wise to the abstraction of all that
But its secret dribbled down his waistcoat like a drink from a strainer.
He wagered a bob each way on the Derby,
He got a straight tip from a man in a shop -
A double from the Guineas it was and thought himself
A master mathematician when one of them came up
And he could explain how much he'd have drawn
On the double if the second leg had followed the first.
He was betting on form and breeding, he claimed,
And the man that did that could never be burst.
After that they went on to the war, and the generals
On both sides were shown to be stupid as hell.
If he'd taken that road, they remarked of a Marshal,
He'd have … O they know their geography well
This was their university. Maguire was an undergraduate
Who dreamed from his lowly position of rising
To a professorship like Larry McKenna or Duffy
Or the pig-gelder Nallon whose knowledge was amazing.
'A treble, full multiple odds … That's flat porter …
Another one … No, you're wrong about that thing I was telling you. .
Did you part with your filly, Jack? I heard that you sold her.…'
The students were all savants by the time of pub-close.

XI
A year passed and another hurried after it
And Patrick Maguire was still six months behind life -
His mother six months ahead of it;
His sister straddle-legged across it: -
One leg in hell and the other in heaven
And between the purgatory of middle-aged virginity -
She prayed for release to heaven or hell.
His mother's voice grew thinner like a rust-worn knife
But it cut venomously as it thinned,
It cut him up the middle till he became more woman than man,
And it cut through to his mind before the end.
Another field whitened in the April air
And the harrows rattled over the seed.
He gathered the loose stones off the ridges carefully
And grumbled to his men to hurry. He looked like a man who could give advice
To foolish young fellows. He was forty-seven,
And there was depth in his jaw and his voice was the voice of a great cattle-dealer,
A man with whom the fair-green gods break even.
'I think I ploughed that lea the proper depth,
She ought to give a crop if any land gives …
Drive slower with the foal-mare, Joe.'
Joe, a young man of imagined wives,
Smiles to himself and answered like a slave:
'You needn't fear or fret.
I'm taking her as easy, as easy as …
Easy there Fanny, easy, pet.'
They loaded the day-scoured implements on the cart
As the shadows of poplars crookened the furrows.
It was the evening, evening. Patrick was forgetting to be lonely
As he used to be in Aprils long ago.
It was the menopause, the misery-pause.
The schoolgirls passed his house laughing every morning
And sometimes they spoke to him familiarly -
He had an idea. Schoolgirls of thirteen
Would see no political intrigue in an old man's friendship.
Love
The heifer waiting to be nosed by the old bull.
That notion passed too - there was the danger of talk
And jails are narrower than the five-sod ridge
And colder than the black hills facing Armagh in February.
He sinned over the warm ashes again and his crime
The law's long arm could not serve with time.
His face set like an old judge's pose:
Respectability and righteousness,
Stand for no nonsense.
The priest from the altar called Patrick Maguire's name
To hold the collecting-box in the chapel door
During all the Sundays of May.
His neighbours envied him his holy rise,
But he walked down from the church with affected indifference
And took the measure of heaven angle-wise.
He still could laugh and sing,
But not the wild laugh or the abandoned harmony now
That called the world to new silliness from the top of a wooden gate
When thirty-five could take the sparrow's bow.
Let us be kind, let us be kind and sympathetic:
Maybe life is not for joking or for finding happiness in -
This tiny light in Oriental Darkness
Looking out chance windows of poetry or prayer.
And the grief and defeat of men like these peasants
Is God's way - maybe - and we must not want too much
To see.
The twisted thread is stronger than the wind-swept fleece.
And in the end who shall rest in truth's high peace?
Or whose is the world now, even now?
O let us kneel where the blind ploughman kneels
And learn to live without despairing
In a mud-walled space -
Illiterate unknown and unknowing.
Let us kneel where he kneels
And feel what he feels.
One day he saw a daisy and he thought it
Reminded him of his childhood -
He stopped his cart to look at it.
Was there a fairy hiding behind it?
He helped a poor woman whose cow
Had died on her;
He dragged home a drunken man on a winter's night
And one rare moment he heard the young people playing on the railway stile
And he wished them happiness and whatever they most desired from life.
He saw the sunlight and begrudged no man
His share of what the miserly soil and soul
Gives in a season to a ploughman.
And he cried for his own loss one late night on the pillow
And yet thanked the God who had arranged these things.
Was he then a saint?
A Matt Talbot of Monaghan?
His sister Mary Anne spat poison at the children
Who sometimes came to the door selling raffle tickets
For holy funds.
'Get out, you little tramps!' she would scream
As she shook to the hens an armful of crumbs,
But Patrick often put his hand deep down
In his trouser-pocket and fingered out a penny
Or maybe a tobacco-stained caramel.
'You're soft,' said the sister; 'with other people's money
It's not a bit funny.'
The cards are shuffled and the deck
Laid flat for cutting - Tom Malone
Cut for trump. I think we'll make
This game, the last, a tanner one.
Hearts. Right. I see you're breaking
Your two-year-old. Play quick, Maguire,
The clock there says it's half-past ten -
Kate, throw another sod on that fire.
One of the card-players laughs and spits
Into the flame across a shoulder.
Outside, a noise like a rat
Among the hen-roosts.
The cock crows over
The frosted townland of the night.
Eleven o'clock and still the game
Goes on and the players seem to be
Drunk in an Orient opium den.
Midnight, one o'clock, two.
Somebody's leg has fallen asleep.
What about home? Maguire, are you
Using your double-tree this week?
Why? do you want it? Play the ace.
There's it, and that's the last card for me.
A wonderful night, we had. Duffy's place
Is very convenient. Is that a ghost or a tree?
And so they go home with dragging feet
And their voices rumble like laden carts.
And they are happy as the dead or sleeping …
I should have led that ace of hearts.

XII
The fields were bleached white,
The wooden tubs full of water
Were white in the winds
That blew through Brannagan's Gap on their way from Siberia;
The cows on the grassless heights .
Followed the hay that had wings -
The February fodder that hung itself on the black branches
Of the hill-top hedge.
A man stood beside a potato-pit
And clapped his arms
And pranced on the crisp roots
And shouted to warm himself.
Then he buck-leaped about the potatoes
And scooped them into a basket.
He looked like a bucking suck-calf
Whose spine was being tickled.
Sometimes he stared across the bogs
And sometimes he straightened his back and vaguely whistled
A tune that weakened his spirit
And saddened his terrier dog's.
A neighbour passed with a spade on his shoulder
And Patrick Maguire bent like a bridge
Whistled-good morning under his oxter
And the man the other side of the hedge
Champed his spade on the road at his toes
And talked an old sentimentality
While the wind blew under his clothes.
The mother sickened and stayed in bed all day,
Her head hardly dented the pillow, so light and thin it had worn,
But she still enquired after the household affairs.
She held the strings of her children's Punch and Judy, and when a mouth opened
It was her truth that the dolls would have spoken
If they hadn't been made of wood and tin -
'Did you open the barn door, Pat, to let the young calves in?'
The priest called to see her every Saturday
And she told him her troubles and fears:
'If Mary Anne was settled I'd die in peace -
I'm getting on in years.'
'You were a good woman,' said the priest,
'And your children will miss you when you're gone.
The likes of you this parish never knew,
I'm sure they'll not forget the work you've done.'
She reached five bony crooks under the tick -
'Five pounds for Masses - won't you say them quick.'
She died one morning in the beginning of May
And a shower of sparrow-notes was the litany for her dying.
The holy water was sprinkled on the bed-clothes
And her children stood around the bed and cried because it was too late for crying.
A mother dead! The tired sentiment:
'Mother, Mother' was a shallow pool
Where sorrow hardly could wash its feet …
Mary Anne came away from the deathbed and boiled the calves their gruel.
'O what was I doing when the procession passed?
Where was I looking? Young women and men
And I might have joined them.
Who bent the coin of my destiny
That it stuck in the slot?
I remember a night we walked
Through the moon of Donaghmoyne,
Four of us seeking adventure,
It was midsummer forty years ago.
Now I know
The moment that gave the turn to my life.
O Christ! I am locked in a stable with pigs and cows for ever.

XIII
The world looks on
And talks of the peasant:
The peasant has no worries;
In his little lyrical fields He ploughs and sows;
He eats fresh food,
He loves fresh women, He is his own master
As it was in the Beginning
The simpleness of peasant life.
The birds that sing for him are eternal choirs ,
Everywhere he walks there are flowers.
His heart is pure, His mind is clear,
He can talk to God as Moses and Isaiah talked
The peasant who is only one remove from the beasts he drives. '
'The travellers stop their cars to gape over the green bank into his fields: -
There is the source from which all cultures rise,
And all religions,
There is the pool in which the poet dips
And the musician.
Without the peasant base civilisation must die,
Unless the clay is in the mouth the singer's singing is useless.
The travellers touch the roots of the grass and feel renewed
When they grasp the steering wheels again.
The peasant is the unspoiled child of Prophecy,
The peasant is all virtues - let us salute him without irony
The peasant ploughman who is half a vegetable -
Who can react to sun and rain and sometimes even
Regret that the Maker of Light had not touched him more intensely.
Brought him up from the sub-soil to an existence
Of conscious joy. He was not born blind.
He is not always blind: sometimes the cataract yields
To sudden stone-falling or the desire to breed.
The girls pass along the roads
And he can remember what man is,
But there is nothing he can do.
Is there nothing he can do?
Is there no escape?
No escape, no escape.
The cows and horses breed,
And the potato-seed
Gives a bud and a root and rots
In the good mother's way with her sons;
The fledged bird is thrown
From the nest - on its own.
But the peasant in his little acres is tied
To a mother's womb by the wind-toughened navel-cord
Like a goat tethered to the stump of a tree -
He circles around and around wondering why it should be.
No crash, No drama.
That was how his life happened.
No mad hooves galloping in the sky,
But the weak, washy way of true tragedy -
A sick horse nosing around the meadow for a clean place to die.

XIV
We may come out in the October reality, Imagination,
The sleety wind no longer slants to the black hill where Maguire
And his men are now collecting the scattered harness and baskets.
The dog sitting on a wisp of dry stalks
Watches them through the shadows.
'Back in, back in.' One talks to the horse as to a brother.
Maguire himself is patting a potato-pit against the weather -
An old man fondling a new-piled grave:
'Joe, I hope you didn't forget to hide the spade .
For there's rogues in the townland.
Hide it flat in a furrow.
I think we ought to be finished by to-morrow.
Their voices through the darkness sound like voices from a cave,
A dull thudding far away, futile, feeble, far away,
First cousins to the ghosts of the townland.
A light stands in a window. Mary Anne
Has the table set and the tea-pot waiting in the ashes.
She goes to the door and listens and then she calls
From the top of the haggard-wall :
'What's keeping you
And the cows to be milked and all the other work there's to do?'
'All right, all right
We'll not stay here all night '
Applause, applause,
The curtain falls.
Applause, applause
From the homing carts and the trees
And the bawling cows at the gates.
From the screeching water-hens
And the mill-race heavy with the Lammas floods curving over the weir
A train at the station blowing off steam
And the hysterical laughter of the defeated everywhere.
Night, and the futile cards are shuffled again.
Maguire spreads his legs over the impotent cinders that wake no manhood now
And he hardly looks to see which card is trump.
His sister tightens her legs and her lips and frizzles up
Like the wick of an oil-less lamp.
The curtain falls -
Applause, applause.
Maguire is not afraid of death, the Church will light him a candle
To see his way through the vaults and he'll understand the
Quality of the clay that dribbles over his coffin.
He'll know the names of the roots that climb down to tickle his feet.
And he will feel no different than when he walked through Donaghmoyne.
If he stretches out a hand - a wet clod,
If he opens his nostrils - a dungy smell;
If he opens his eyes once in a million years -
Through a crack in the crust of the earth he may see a face nodding in
Or a woman's legs.
Shut them again for that sight is sin.
He will hardly remember that life happened to him -
Something was brighter a moment. Somebody sang in the distance
A procession passed down a mesmerized street.
He remembers names like Easter and Christmas
By colour his fields were.
Maybe he will be born again, a bird of an angel's conceit
To sing the gospel of life
To a music as flighty tangent
As a tune on an oboe.
And the serious look of his fields will have changed to the leer of a hobo.
Swaggering celestially home to his three wishes granted.
Will that be? will that be?
Or is the earth right that laughs haw-haw
And does not believe
In an unearthly law.
The earth that says:
Patrick Maguire, the old peasant, can neither be damned nor glorified:
The graveyard in which he will lie will be just a deep-drilled potato-field
Where the seed gets no chance to come through
To the fun of the sun.
The tongue in his mouth is the root of a yew.
Silence, silence. The story is done.
He stands in the doorway of his house
A ragged sculpture of the wind,
October creaks the rotted mattress,
The bedposts fall. No hope. No lust.
The hungry fiend
Screams the apocalypse of clay
In every corner of this land.

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The Return Of Jackie And Judy

Jackie is a punk, Judy is a runt
They went down to the Mudd Club
And they both got drunk
Oh-yeah
Jackie is a bookie, Judy's taking loans
They both came up to New York
Just to see the Ramones
Oh-yeah
And oh, I don't know why se wrote
that letter
Oh no, oh no
Oh I don't know why,
We won't forget her oh no
Jackie's playing hooky
Judy's playing pool
They both got caught for cutting
Got to go to summer school
Oh-yeah
Jackie's scalping tickets
Judy's getting harassed
They both got kicked outside
Didn't have a backstage pass
Oh-yeah
And oh, I don't know why she wrote
that letter
Oh no, oh no
And oh, I don't know why
Don't know what's on her mind
I don't know, no, I don't know
But I can't stand to see her cryin'
She's still cryin', she ain't tryin'
She's going to get left behind
Nobody wants you, nobody wants you

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Judy

The waitress with the orange hair keeps motionin' me to hurry up and leave
I gulp my coffee - burn my mouth - grab up my coat and slippin' out
I smear a streak of mustard down my sleeve
And the guy behind the register takes my bread and shakes his head
And looks at me as if I've blown his mind
Hey, I just come here for some coffee…hope I'm not waistin' anybody's time.
And Judy I'm slowly movin' back to you
And I wish that I could say I'll treat you better than I used to
It's just I'm learnin' lots of things I never knew back then
Judy I'm slowly movin' back again
That blue eyed barracuda smiles and tells me she could she could use some brand new clothes
She grabs my leg with a wink, asks if I want another drink
She's not the campfire girl you might suppose
But she's so busy tellin' me her troubles I don't think she's got time
For any kind of trouble small as mine
Hey, I just come here for nothin'… hope I'm not waistin' anybody's time
I stop here on the corner, but that red faced cop says move along your way
My toes are cold, my nose is numb, I got no feeling in my thumb
I think I just might stop inside that church and maybe pray
But they pass the plate and look at me when it turns out that I ain't got a dime
Hey, I just come in here to talk to GOD… hope I'm not waistin' anybody's time

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Life is a Battle Field; Fight and Fight

Hello! Hello! Oh, yellow bellied fellow -
Runs for everything yet gets nothing, a lily-livered fellow,
Life is ethereal some say yet cruel i see, oh anserine fellow
Life is a kind of sirocco, lo, chickenhearted fellow.
Topsy-turvy life, tipsy-nervy life and Jumpy-jolty life
As my life sucks for bucks - vocalized Booby, Boo! Boo!

Childhood is besotted with education - marked by fecklessness,
Youth is wasted in illusion - marked by forlornness,
Mild age is passed in the delusion - harkened by groundlessness,
Old age is lasted in dissimulation - darkened by hopelessness.
Topsy-turvy life, tipsy-nervy life and Jumpy-jolty life
As my life sucks for bucks - vocalized Booby, Boo! Boo!

Someone says life a fantasy yet be watchful,
Others say life is beautiful yet be dutiful,
Some others say life is a puzzle yet is playful,
Yet others say life is carrying donkeys load yet be cheerful.
Topsy-turvy life, tipsy-nervy life and Jumpy-jolty life
As my life sucks for bucks - vocalized Booby, Boo! Boo!

Life is a battle field; fight and fight till you reach the glory,
Life is a mountain; climb and claim until you reach the top,
Life is a boxing bout; punch and punch till you reach victory,
Life is a marathon race; run and run to reach heaven's sop.
Topsy-turvy life, tipsy-nervy life and Jumpy-jolty life
As my life sucks for bucks - vocalized Booby, Boo! Boo!

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Vanishing Point

I'd noticed the girl a dozen times
As she passed me on the street,
All I could see were those red-rimmed eyes
And that look of pure defeat,
So often I thought to stop her there
To ask her what was wrong,
But I lived in a part of the city where
Such weakness didn't belong.

We all sit huddled in high rise flats
And keep ourselves to ourselves,
We don't get involved with the neighbours,
Heaven forbid that we should be friends,
We eye each other suspiciously
On the dark and dingy street,
And try to walk in the shadows
So that our passing will be discreet.

But often I'd pass the local cop
As he put the posters up,
‘Does anyone know the whereabouts…'
But nobody even stopped,
So many faces on poles and posts
And the names they would annoint,
Of those who'd gone to the edge of the world,
Right through to the Vanishing Point!

I often wondered about them all,
Was it easier to escape?
Was life such a terrible martyrdom
In the hands of a fickle fate?
So many were lost with every year
Was it murder, mayhem or less,
How many husbands misplaced their wives
In an act of carelessness?

The girl intrigued me, every day
She would pass by the corner shop,
But I never saw her happy or gay
She'd the weight of the world on top,
She slowly became insubstantial, like
A wraith that was taking the air,
I followed her round from a distance
Watched her enter the Pearly Fair.

There were clowns and strange hobgoblins there,
And often a Harlequin,
They wandered around in a daze, it seemed
Like a circus about to begin,
And not one had an identity
Apart from the paint they wore,
A slight disguise in a world of lies
Said, ‘What did we come here for? '

The girl got changed for the Judy Show
Full size, and Punch was a man,
He beat her there with a wooden club
As the audience clapped their hands,
The ‘club' was really a cardboard roll
But it must have hurt like sin,
And Judy cried as the audience died,
‘I'm back in the world again! '

I followed her down to the waterside
At dusk, with its evil smell,
And others, still in their sad disguise
Were milling around, as well,
They warmed themselves by a brazier
And looked for a place to sleep,
But ‘Judy' stood by the empty dock
And the water there was deep.

My eyes played tricks in the dimming light
She started to fade away,
Became as one with the falling night
Where the lost and the beaten pray,
She was there one minute and gone the next
The movement was so adroit,
The water formed like a giant tear
Right there, at the Vanishing Point!

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The Return of Morgan and Fingal

And there we were together again—
Together again, we three:
Morgan, Fingal, fiddle, and all,
They had come for the night with me.

The spirit of joy was in Morgan’s wrist,
There were songs in Fingal’s throat;
And secure outside, for the spray to drench,
Was a tossed and empty boat.

And there were the pipes, and there was the punch,
And somewhere were twelve years;
So it came, in the manner of things unsought,
That a quick knock vexed our ears.

The night wind hovered and shrieked and snarled,
And I heard Fingal swear;
Then I opened the door—but I found no more
Than a chalk-skinned woman there.

I looked, and at last, “What is it?” I said—
“What is it that we can do?”
But never a word could I get from her
But “You—you three—it is you!”

Now the sense of a crazy speech like that
Was more than a man could make;
So I said, “But we—we are what, we three?”
And I saw the creature shake.

“Be quick!” she cried, “for I left her dead—
And I was afraid to come;
But you, you three—God made it be—
Will ferry the dead girl home.

“Be quick! be quick!—but listen to that
Who is that makes it?—hark!”
But I heard no more than a knocking splash
And a wind that shook the dark.

“It is only the wind that blows,” I said,
And the boat that rocks outside.”
And I watched her there, and I pitied her there—
“Be quick! be quick!” she cried.

She cried so loud that her voice went in
To find where my two friends were;
So Morgan came, and Fingal came,
And out we went with her.

’T was a lonely way for a man to take
And a fearsome way for three;
And over the water, and all day long,
They had come for the night with me.

But the girl was dead, as the woman had said,
And the best we could see to do
Was to lay her aboard. The north wind roared,
And into the night we flew.

Four of us living and one for a ghost,
Furrowing crest and swell,
Through the surge and the dark, for that faint far spark,
We ploughed with Azrael.

Three of us ruffled and one gone mad,
Crashing to south we went;
And three of us there were too spattered to care
What this late sailing meant.

So down we steered and along we tore
Through the flash of the midnight foam:
Silent enough to be ghosts on guard.
We ferried the dead girl home.

We ferried her down to the voiceless wharf,
And we carried her up to the light;
And we left the two to the father there,
Who counted the coals that night.

Then back we steered through the foam again,
But our thoughts were fast and few;
And all we did was to crowd the surge
And to measure the life we knew;—

Till at last we came where a dancing gleam
Skipped out to us, we three,—
And the dark wet mooring pointed home
Like a finger from the sea.

Then out we pushed the teetering skiff
And in we drew to the stairs;
And up we went, each man content
With a life that fed no cares.

Fingers were cold and feet were cold,
And the tide was cold and rough;
But the light was warm, and the room was warm,
And the world was good enough.

And there were the pipes, and there was the punch,
More shrewd than Satan’s tears:
Fingal had fashioned it, all by himself,
With a craft that comes of years.

And there we were together again—
Together again, we three:
Morgan, Fingal, fiddle, and all,
They were there for the night with me.

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On Lending a Punch-Bowl

This ancient silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old times,
Of joyous days and jolly nights, and merry Christmas times;
They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave, and true,
Who dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.

A Spanish galleon brought the bar,—­so runs the ancient tale;
’T was hammered by an Antwerp smith, whose arm was like a flail;
And now and then between the strokes, for fear his strength should fail,
He wiped his brow and quaffed a cup of good old Flemish ale.

’T was purchased by an English squire to please his loving dame,
Who saw the cherubs, and conceived a longing for the same;
And oft as on the ancient stock another twig was found,
’T was filled with candle spiced and hot, and handed smoking round.

But, changing hands, it reached at length a Puritan divine,
Who used to follow Timothy, and take a little wine,
But hated punch and prelacy; and so it was, perhaps,
He went to Leyden, where he found conventicles and schnapps.

And then, of course, you know what’s next: it left the Dutchman’s shore
With those that in the Mayflower came,—­a hundred souls and more,—­
Along with all the furniture, to fill their new abodes,—­
To judge by what is still on hand, at least a hundred loads.

’T was on a dreary winter’s eve, the night was closing, dim,
When brave Miles Standish took the bowl, and filled it to the brim;
The little Captain stood and stirred the posset with his sword,
And all his sturdy men-at-arms were ranged about the board.

He poured the fiery Hollands in,—­the man that never feared,—­
He took a long and solemn draught, and wiped his yellow beard;
And one by one the musketeers—­the men that fought and prayed—­
All drank as ’t were their mother’s milk, and not a man afraid.

That night, affrighted from his nest, the screaming eagle flew,
He heard the Pequot’s ringing whoop, the soldier’s wild halloo;
And there the sachem learned the rule he taught to kith and kin,
Run from the white man when you find he smells of “Hollands gin!”

A hundred years, and fifty more, had spread their leaves and snows,
A thousand rubs had flattened down each little cherub’s nose,
When once again the bowl was filled, but not in mirth or joy, =—­
’T was mingled by a mother’s hand to cheer her parting boy.

Drink, John, she said, 't will do you good,—­poor child, you’ll never bear
This working in the dismal trench, out in the midnight air; And if -—­
God bless me! -—­ you were hurt, 't would keep away the chill.
So John did drink,—­and well he wrought that night at Bunker’s Hill!

I tell you, there was generous warmth in good old English cheer;
I tell you, ’t was a pleasant thought to bring its symbol here.
’T is but the fool that loves excess; hast thou a drunken soul?
Thy bane is in thy shallow skull, not in my silver bowl!

I love the memory of the past,—­its pressed yet fragrant flowers,—­
The moss that clothes its broken walls, the ivy on its towers;
Nay, this poor bauble it bequeathed,—­my eyes grow moist and dim,
To think of all the vanished joys that danced around its brim.

Then fill a fair and honest cup, and bear it straight to me;
The goblet hallows all it holds, whate’er the liquid be;
And may the cherubs on its face protect me from the sin
That dooms one to those dreadful words,—­“My dear, where have you been?”

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Punch Up At 'Dart Man's Aim

Fifteen stone and just five foot eight
And yet he doesn't seem overweight
Deep, deep chest and shoulders wide
The strongest in this countryside.

He's the mighty Dan the frog
From the house beside the bog
Swarthy looking with raven hair
A happy man without a care.

He's no plans to take a wife
As he prefers the single life
And he's still a young man anyway
Just twenty five on his last birthday

Froggy is his dad's nickname
And that's from where the name frog came
But his nickname of frog he doesn't appreciate
In fact the word called frog he's grown to hate.

Fastest man for miles around
To part with the green back pound
In him you'll find nothing cheap
Money he can't seem to keep.

He's a happy sort of bloke
Happy even when he's broke
He's got the right mentality
Never down, always carefree.

Likes his guinness doesn't like beer
Drinks his liquor with good cheer,
Whiskey makes the man walk tall
And he likes whiskey best of all.

He is merciful though strong
And without good reason won't do wrong
But do him wrong and he will fight
And with his fists he'll put things right.

He'd prefer to crack your jaw
Than chastise you with the law
Solves his problems like a man
That's the way it is with Dan.

And though when need arise he can be hard
Dan the frog is no blaghguard
But his type you don't kick around
As men like him do not yield ground

Last sunday night at a poker game
In the pub 'The Dart man's aim'
Dan drank his pint put glass away
And joined with three others to play.

Poker is a game of bluff
And those who play it know their stuff
It depends on the cards you get
As on bad cards one cannot bet.

Money can be lost or won
Fast as any hare can run
And there's no room for a mistake
As it's a game of make or break

And Dan the frog though hard is fair
The ideal type of poker player,
He knows how much his cards are worth
And on good cards would bet his shirt.

At Dan's left sat Bill Carew
A drinking man and a gambler too
From beer to cards and cards to beer
That's how he's lived for forty years.

And at centre table sat Jim Ray
A quiet man with few words to say
A poker player next to none
And of late he's on a lucky run.

And at Dan's right sat Bulldog Kane
The bully boy from Privet lane
Twenty four years and six foot four
And weighing sixteen stone or more.

His size makes him one to fear
And when he's drunk of him stay clear
At such times he's one to avoid
As on his great strength he takes pride.

He's the roughest man in town
And from a challenge won't climb down
And those who challenged him before
Felt sorry later and quite sore

In the earlier games the Frog was losing
And Bulldog found all of this amusing
From ear to ear big Kane was grinning
As well he may for he was winning.

Carew and Ray were holding steady
And for their turn of luck were ready,
They were breaking even, not so bad
And still had plenty in the wad.

Near ten o clock the climax came
And this was to be the vital game
All four had good cards rose the pool
And the winner take all is the rule.

With five hundred pounds there for the taking
Hearts were trembling and hands shaking
And the curious onlookers standing around that table
For to keep their silence were scarce able.

Carew and Ray threw their hands in
Their cards not good enough to win
And Dan the Frog called to see Kane
And his blue was winner that was plain.

The Frog he gathered up his winnings
And Bulldog Kane was not now grinning
A bad loser his temper rising
Which after all is not surprising.

He accused Dan the Frog of cheating
And promised him a right good beating
But Dan roared back don't accuse me
Of cheating or dishonesty.

'Twas word for word and tempers rose
And 'twas plain all this would end in blows
And Bulldog Kane was first to draw
A big right hook to the Frog's jaw.

It seemed he'd fall he staggered back
His eyes glazed from the hefty smack,
From the mouth he bled he'd lost two teeth
But still he held firm on his feet.

The onlookers seemed surprised that he did not fall
His back against the bar room wall
And Kane moved in for the K.O.
But Dan avoided his next blow.

Dan punched the Bulldog in the eye
Which fairly stunned the bully boy
And blood began to freely flow
From a cut above his left eyebrow.

All serene souls left that bar room quick
The sight of blood make their type sick
And they'd seen enough of blood in there
And for their last drinks went elsewhere.

And others came in from the street
To watch for them 'a special treat'
They had heard about the punching war
That was taking place in Dart man's aim bar.

It was punch for punch and blow for blow
As they slugged it out fair toe to toe
And though Dan the Frog was well on top
Bulldog kept fighting and he wouldn't stop.

Then the bar room owner Jim McNiece
Told his wife Kate 'ring for Police'
And four Policemen came and broke up the fight
And to Dart man's restored peace and quiet.

And they looked a sorry sight the boys
With swollen lips and swollen eyes
And Kane whose face was black and blue
Looked the more battered of the two.

But in bar brawls is there second best?
As they both were placed under arrest
And they face the judge the next court day
And the law will have the final say.

And Bulldog Kane and Dan the Frog
His real name Dan Ryan from by the bog
Are awaiting trial and out on bail
Will it be bound to the peace or jail?

And for Dan there's widespread sympathy
As he's not a bad type all agree
He's not the sort who'd start a row
But his main fault is that he won't bow.

But there's litle sympathy for Kane
The bully boy from Privet Lane
And the news was received with delight
That he was bested in the fight.

But the judge he will have different views
As it matter nought to him who win or lose
And 'twill matter nought to him who drew first blow
As 'tis by the book of law he'll go.

And in the eyes of the law they are both to blame
And the judge will treat them both the same
As it's only licensed boxers have the right
In a roped in arena to fight.

And drinking man you've got a lesson here
On your night out enjoy your beer
But from involvement in brawls do resist
As wise men don't solve things with their fist.

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Fundamental of Liar Chapter XXIV: Irony

If sarcasm is a direct punch
and cynicism is a sharp slim dagger
then irony is a latent poison

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