I have resided overseas for an extensive period of time, yet I remain engaged in the sporting events and current affairs transpiring in Ireland.
Yesterday, in the rugby world cup quarter-final hosted in France, Ireland narrowly fell short against New Zealand. The outcome was agonisingly close. Despite Ireland’s position as the top-ranked team globally, the recurring narrative persisted. This marks the eighth consecutive world cup quarter-final defeat for Ireland.
Today, the newspapers extensively covered the match and its aftermath. One publication aptly encapsulated the sentiment with the phrase, “if not now, when.”
Anyways, it is good to be back online. With a new laptop this week, the world is my lobster.
In thinking of the emerald isle this weekend, I was reminded of Moira O’Neill’s poem, Back to Ireland.
Moira O’Neill was the pen name of Agnes Shakespeare Higginson (1864-1955), a renowned poet of Irish-Canadian origin.
Her works primarily consisted of ballads and other forms of verse that were inspired by the scenic beauty of County Antrim, where she resided in the town of Cushendun.
That beautiful north coast brings back so many memories.
Included is an old image of the poet, cleaned up, enhanced and coloured.
Back to Ireland
Oh, tell me, will I ever get to Ireland again,
Achray – from the far North-West?
Have we given all the rainbows, an’ the green woods an’ rain,
For the suns an’ the snows o’ the West?
“Them that goes to Ireland must thravel night an’ day,
An’ them that goes to Ireland must sail across the say:
For the len’th of here to Ireland is half the world away –
An’ you’ll lave your heart behind you in the West.
Set your face for Ireland,
Kiss your friends in Ireland,
But lave your heart behind you in the West.”
On a fine an’ shiny mornin’ the ship she comes to land,
Early, oh, early in the mornin’,
The silver wathers o’ the Foyle go slidin’ to the strand,
Whisperin’ “Ye’re welcome in the mornin’.”
There’s darkness on the holy hills I know are close aroun’,
But the stars are shinin’ up the sky, the stars are shinin’ down;
They make a golden cross above, they make a golden crown,
An’ meself could tell ye why, – in the mornin’,
Sure an’ this is Ireland,
Thank God for Ireland!
I’m coming back to Ireland in the morning’.