Christmas 1914 - Sligo Poets

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Sligo Independent 26 December 1914   
     CHRISTMAS, 1914.

     (By M. A. Hargadon).
 Author of “A Lovely Home.”

Just as a bunch of grapes when prest
Will make a cup that gives good cheer;
The seasons of the year
Dissolve into a week of rest.
Dull life’s entangled vine
At Yuletide yields us fruit and wine.

Yes, Christmas is the proudest height
Of beauty on an annum’s plain,
And sinners all may gain
The pinnacle lit by God’s light.
There we may reach on high
And take choice grapes from on high.

The glad bell peals religion’s call,
To church the congregation speeds;
Young Christ sows lily seeds
Deep down within the hearts of all.
Pleased spirits spread a sheet
Of white beneath our bathed feet.

Our homesteads are a looking glass
Reflecting fond humility
Caught from the family
Who dwelt beside the ox and ass.
Led by devotion’s ray
To Bethlehem our fancies stray.

Around a dainty table sat
Of festive dishes we partake,
And drink until we break
The cell which holds our kindest chat.
By happiness beguiled
All humankind is one fair child.

Recalling friends we meet no more,
A lingering moment we delay;
Sincere respects we pay
To soldiers brave who guard our shore.
Yes joyously we toast
The men who smite the Kaiser’s host.

The maids and boys play games, and let
The soul gush from the heart of song;
Until the infant throng
Is hushed to sleep beside a pet.
Then all have dreams sublime
Of making life one Christmas time.

The newspaper included this note after the poem: "The above poem won a prize in a literary competition organised by T.P’s Weekly, one of the most influential literary journals published in England. Mr. Hargadon, who is on the literary staff of the Nationalist and Leinster Times, is a native of Calry, Sligo".

Hargadon's volume of poetry A Lovely Home had been published
by Maunsel and Company as an expensive five shilling edition in 1914 and was republished in 1915 in a one shilling edition.

A previous collection, "A Wreath of Song", had been published in 1913 and the Sligo Times ran a news item on it at the time.

Hargadon also had a story, "The Influence of the Bar", included in the 26 December 1914 issue of the Sligo Champion.

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