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1912 > Sligo Poetry 1912 > Sligo Independent

Sligo Independent 27 July 1912



Lough Gill, Lough Gill, your glories thrill,
My spirit and my soul they fill,
The beauty lying at thy side,
Could human language e’er describe?
Thy charming beauty can’t be bought,
Though by angel it be sought,
His Glorious Majesty adore,
Who shines on thee from shore to shore.

When on Cairns Hill I there behold,
The hills beyond, so grand, so bold,
Benbulben, what could it surpass?
Its grandeur shows as through a glass;
And Knocknarea, so bold, so high,
Tow’ring into the midnight sky.
The hills beyond all looking o’er
Lough Gill and all its lovely shore.

How peaceful, O! thou lovely sea !
I’d have my heart at peace like thee,
Thy wonders and thy beauty grand
We all can see from off the land.
But sailing o’er thy lovely face
Thy grandeur we can better trace,
And see the work of God in thee,
His wonders shine on thy deep sea.

O, Sligo, wilt thou not awake!
Proclaim thy charms, thy lovely lake.
Arise, brush sleep from off thine eyes,
Exalt its glories to the skies.
By voice and pen make known its praise,
By doing so yourself would raise;
Would sound your great Creator’s power,
And build yourself a name and tower.

Bid all your sons that roam afar
Come home once more and see Glencar,
Its glorious beauty charms the eye,
Once seen it always makes one sigh,
Lest you such beauty no more see,
In distant lands your lot may be,
O, happy I should be to lie,
Beside Lough Gill or Glencar’s eye.

From Dooney Rock what can surpass
Lough Gill—its waters shine like glass,
The lovely islands dotted o’er
But make it charming all the more.
The rugged hills around it stand,
Protect it from the storms on land,
Their rustic grandeur what can beat?
They oft remind of Arthur’s seat.

Wood-Martin’s house can then be seen;
It sits majestic as a queen:
It frontage lovely to behold
The hills before it are so bold.
It looks a grand old country seat,
Where you might find a sweet retreat.
Behind it Hazelwood is seen—
Lough Gill is shining as a beam.

And Wynne’s demesne, how rich and rare,
Its lovely parks but make one stare.
Yes, Hazelwood’s its lovely name,
For centuries ’tis rich in fame.
Gill’s waters rippling by its side,
Are often like a rolling tide.
Fertile its parks must ever be,
Near such a pure and placid sea.

Its islands sacred once have been,
Its churches there can still be seen,
Where saints of yore met side by side
To worship God and in him hide.
The God of nature and of grace
Whose’s now revealed in Jesus’ face.
In calm seclusion they would be
From all this world and sorrow free.

From Union Rock I there behold
Great Cooper’s castle in the wold.
The stately river rolling past,
Flows on through wood until it cast
Its turged waters to the sea.
when at the Point I’m charmed by thee,
O, lovely Point, O, glorious sea!
’Tis Sligo’s charms and Sligo’s glee.

O, Sligo, could you not make known
The charms the Point has for your own,
Invite Great Britain to its side
To dip into its waters wide.
Come all the world and see its strand,
For two miles long it is so grand,
The hills around their beauty great,
Its links renowned by men of state.

The waterfall of sweet Glencar
Comes rushing down from hills afar,
’Tis most majestic to behold,
The rushing torrent is so bold.
What can surpass the Vale of Swiss?
Its beauty oft reminds of bliss—
The bliss of Eden’s lovely vale—
Its beauties scarce can e’er grow stale.

O, Thou whose glory shines above
This charming lake we so much love,
Thy wondrous power has raised its hills,
Thy hand has formed the running rills,
The rippling stream that passes by,
In sunlight sparkles to the sky,
Which wraps itself in nature’s shroud,
Its garment is the dusky cloud.

The dew distilled upon the grass
Displays Thy power as through a glass:
The teeming like within Lough Gill,
All show thy Godhead’s mighty will.
As painter’s brush displays his power
When he on canvas paints a flower,
So from Lough Gill to sweet Glencar
Thy wonders shine from star to star.

O, midnight moon, shine bright on me
At night when we sail o’er its sea,
And let thyself reflected be
As in a mirror we would see.
Subdue they beams O starry sky !
Reflect thy light upon my eye,
That all its beauty may be seen
Shining majestic as a queen.

Great orb of day in brilliance shine,
That in thy light we may define
Its varied beauties with the eye,
At different times we may espy.
’Tis not at once that we can trace
The hidden beauties of its face,
Go round its limits day by day,
There’s something new you’ll always say.

Its lovely vales, sweet to behold,
Their beauty now can scarce be told,
They charm the eye and please the mind,
Naught can surprise them of their kind,
From Correagh vale to Carrowmore,
what wealth of beauty’s in thy store,
How peaceful now my spirit dwells,
As I behold thy lovely dells.

From Knocknarea behold I see
Strandhill, its waters dance with glee,
Its lovely beach, its bracing air,
Is most delightful as its fare,
The Atlantic rolling o’er its beach,
Its mighty billows you may teach,
The power of Him who holds the sea,
The great Creator’s seen in thee.

The Core of Dun you there espy,
Raising its peak so very high;
In stately grandeur there it stands,
Created once but not with hands.
The roaring of the billows loud
Affect it not, it looks so proud,
Distains the breakers will not bend,
The billows rise but there they end.

The spray breaks o’er its rustic crown,
Yet on its face there is no frown,
The spray’s its glee from off the sea,
As baby dandles on your knee.
As we behold it standing high
Too proud to stoop, to strong to die,
Though strong it be yet it shall melt
When all this world with it shall swelt.

Almighty God what shall it be
When sailing o’er the glassy sea;
Of heaven’s purity above,
And there behold Thy works of love,
The heavens declare Thy wondrous name,
Thy wisdom evermore the same;
to mortal eye thou art unseen,
Tho’ here in human form thou’st be.

O, Thou whose works we now behold,
Inspire our hearts, but not with gold,
Gold is but dust like yellow sand,
Thy wisdom’s like Thyself, how grand
Inspire our hearts with truth divine,
That we may know that we are Thine,
And when this world shall pass away,
We’ll soar to realms of brightest day.

Farewell to Sligo and its store,
Its beauties, wealth and all its lore,
Farewell to Gill and sweet Glencar,
We’ll think of you when we’re afar.
Farewell to all its beauties grand,
Its hills, its vales, in grandeur stand,
O, Thou whose hand is seen in all,
Help us before thy face to fall.


These twenty three stanzas purporting to be in praise of the beauties of County Sligo are among the worst excesses of verse printed in the Sligo newspapers of the time.

Rather than describing the beauties of the county the author berates Sligo for not making them more well-known and at the same time continually attempts to use the landscape to draw trite and commonplace moral lessons. It reads more like a poor sermon than a celebration of landscape.

The landscape dealt with is geographically very limited in spite of the insistence of Co. in the title. There is little mention of the wider county beyond the environs of Sligo town, Loughs Gill and Glencar, Benbulben and Knocknarea. The estates and residences of three of the former landed gentry, Wynne, Wood-Martin and Cooper, are lavishly praised. Glencar waterfall is actually in County Leitrim.

South and west Sligo are almost completely omitted. There are no mentions of the Ox Mountains, Keash, Knocknashee for instance. Correagh is south of Lough Gill near Ballintogher. The Carrowmore mentioned is presumably the area rich in archaeological remains south of Knocknarea.

The "Core of Dun" is presumably the Coragh dTonn, a cliff near Aughris on the Atlantic coast. There is no indication who "Traveller" was or why he was comissioned to write this.

In the newspaper the poem occupied a full column which suggests that it may have been much longer and the editor cut it to fit. The pity is that he did not cut even more!

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