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Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin

by P. Kavanagh

`Erected to the Memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'

O commemorate me where there is water,

Canal water preferably, so stilly,

Green at the heart of summer. Brother

Commemorate me thus beautifully.

Where by a lock Niagariously roars

The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence

Of mid-July. No one will speak in prose

Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.

A swan goes by head low with many apologies,

Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges-

And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy

And other far-flung towns mythologies.

O commemorate me with no hero-courageous

Tomb-just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

Stony Grey Soil

by P. Kavanagh

O stony grey soil of Monaghan

The laugh from my love you thieved;

You took the gay child of my passion

And gave me your clod-conceived.

You clogged the feet of my boyhood

And I believed that my stumble

Had the poise and stride of Apollo

And his voice my thick-tongued mumble.

You told me the plough was immortal!

O green-life-conquering plough!

The mandril strained, your coulter blunted

In the smooth lea-field of my brow.

You sang on steaming dunghills

A song of cowards' brood,

You perfumed my clothes with weasel itch,

You fed me on swinish food

You flung a ditch on my vision

Of beauty, love and truth.

O stony grey soil of Monaghan

You burgled my bank of youth!

Lost the long hours of pleasure

All the women that love young men.

O can I stilll stroke the monster's back

Or write with unpoisoned pen.

His name in these lonely verses

Or mention the dark fields where

The first gay flight of my lyric

Got caught in a peasant's prayer.

Mullahinsa, Drummeril, Black Shanco-

Wherever I turn I see

In the stony grey soil of Monaghan

Dead loves that were born for me.

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