Images Of Ireland

Poems & Recitations


(By Dr. R. Emmet Kane)


Left! - Right! - Left! - Right!
    I'm Mathew Kiely,
    Obey me or fight!

I'm your grand marshal! Now all understand
No wan but me will give any command!
Lannigan, Brannigan, Walsh, and McBride,
Being my aides you may ride by me side.
Bandmaster Daniel O'Connell O'Shea,
Passing St. Bridget's play "St. Patrick's day."
This, Herman Schmaltz, will be your order too.
Have your Dutch band play "O'Donnell Aboo."
Mickey Mullarkey, keep step with the tune,
Yet double left-footed Kilkenny gossoon!
Officer Casey, when walking your beat,
Didn't ye learn how to lift up your feet?
Ev'ry Raypublican black A.P.A.
Envies us Irish on St. Patrick's day.

    Proud 'tis I am of ye!
    Ev'ry last man of ye!
    Irish the whole of ye!
    God bless the soul of ye!
    Slaionte to all of ye!
    Erin Go Bragh!
    Left!- Right! - Left! - Right!
    Glory to Patrick,
    Now, ain't ye a sight!

You, Shamus Cleary, with legs like a bow,
Right out in front! Why you vain so and so!
You should be marching behind Fatty Burke,
Where no wan could see ye, ye misshapen Turk!
Rafferty, watch were ye're putting your feet,
Get off the sidewalk, get down in the street!
Eyes to the fron there, O'Brien of Clare,
Never mind watching the colleens out there!
Alderman Cahill, sure how are your twins?
Make both of them priests, it won't balance your sins!
Michael McLaughlin, do ye and Shan Quinn
March on each side, lads, of Peg-Legged Flynn,
Father O'Shaughnessy, my, ye look grand!
Your Em'rald cadets are the best in the land!

    Proud 'tis I am of ye!
    Ev'ry last man of ye!
    Irish the whole of ye!
    God bless the soul of ye!
    Slainte to all of ye!
    Erin Go Bragh!
    Left!- Right! - Left! - Right!
    Feet may be heavy,
    But hearts are all light!

Stick in your stomach and hold up your chin,
Aisy to see you're from Mayo, McGinn!
What are ye puffing for, Larry Molloy?
Sure, tho' you're 80, you're only a boy!
Duffy, I'm sorry the wife's feeling poor,
Play a soft tune, boys, when passing her door.
Fighting again, were ye, Danny, my b'y?
Who was it gave ye the lovely black eye?
Thanks be to God for the brave Clan na Gael,
Johnny Bull trembles when you're out of jail!
At the Cathedral we'll pass in review,
Green flags a waving with Red, White, and Blue;
Straighten your line now and strike up the band,
Archbishop Glennon's out there on the stand.

    Proud sure, I am of ye!
    Ev'ry last man of ye!
    Irish the whole of ye!
    God bless the soul of ye!
    Slainte to all of ye!
    Erin Go Bragh!
    Left!- Right! - Left! - Right!
    Gaze up to heaven!
    Sure, what a grand sight!

There's Father Lonergan, good old John Finn,
Judge O'Neill Ryan and Daniel McGlynn,
I see James Cullinane, king of the patch,
Michael E. Smith with his snowy white thatch;
John J. O'Connor and there's Father Tim,
Father Mike Ryan, with all of his kin;
Dr. O'Reilly and old Dr. Kane,
Bishop Gilfillan-how he loved Sinn Fein!
Sheehan, the Moynihans, Pete Madden, too--
Fenians the lot of them, fearless and true!
Denny O'Callaghan, Sheriff Pat Clarke,
Father O'Rourke of the Church of St. Mark!
Home to St. Bridget her wild geese have flown,
Shamrocks alone today carpet God's throne.

    Proud sure, I am of them!
    Ev'ry last man of them!
    Irish the whole of them!
    God rest the soul of them!
    Mercy God Show to them!
    Erin Go Bragh!

(Published in the St. Louis Register) A poem written around the mid to late 1800's in St. Louis  about the Irish residents. There was a neighbourhood on the near North side of downtown St. Louis, MO. known as the "Kerry Patch" where Irish immigrants started their life.  It was one of the poorest neighbourhoods in St. Louis and the non-Irish did not dare enter this area at risk of life or limb. The residents of "Kerry Patch" took care of each other and were known as a fighting crowd to that end.
Around 1880, The German Immigrants became the predominate inhabitants of the "Kerry Patch". That was the end of the Irish neighbourhood. But, the "Kerry Patch" was long remembered and written about until the former Irish residents died. Today, only a handful of people know of the "Patch's" existence. I, being one of them. When my family immigrated from Ireland, they became residents of the "Patch".  The poem, I believe was written about Irish residents living in and around the "patch", my family included, who were from Mayo.
John B.McGinnis 
You can contact John at

(Thanks John for the poem and for the invaluable background information you have provided to it.)



County Armagh poet Peter Makem tells me that this poem was written many years before the recent Titanic craze began. He say's "I was first prompted in this direction at the time of the Shuttle disaster in 1986, the apex of American scientific and engineering achievement. The Titanic was a centrepiece -maybe a masterpiece of the age, a culmination of the industrial revolution  and was accordingly a male phenomenon. The female affirmed herself coming in the form of the iceberg"



From the centre
Of the polar galaxy
Her body forms.
Out of the spiral rims,
The immaculate, unbriny stars,
The turning, winding stars
Opens out her arms.
Soon a descending figure
Will touch the arctic crown,
In the long twilight shimmer there
Alight and settle down.

Before the forming came,
Before she took that form
Had fled without child
Into the night's relentless cold
And racing moon and bay.
They cast her out, they mocked her roar
At every rivet and hammer struck
As the great shape, belly and back,
Plate by gantry, plate by girder,
Raised its triumphant body.

Now she turns her head
Toward the watery void,
And on her solemn face,
And on her flowing mantle
A glow as the aurora borealis.
It is neither day light nor moon light,
It is neither dusk light nor dawn light
And she, abiding her oath
Remains motionless until
At the chosen hour
Steps from her place
Into the mist of Labrador,
And moves south.

Peter Makem



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Revised: March 03, 2004.