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    Sligo Champion 18 April 1914
Everyone Will Be Happy When Eliza Comes To Stay

Go to the Rink on Friday night
     When Eliza Comes To Stay.
See this merry play so bright
     When Eliza Comes To Stay.
And you will laugh with me,
With great delight and glee,
When the pretty piece you see –
     Eliza Comes To Stay

Remember now the date
     When Eliza Comes To Stay
Book your seats and don’t be late
     When Eliza Comes To Stay.
Every belle will bring her beau,
To the Rink the crowds shall go,
     On the 24 th, you know,
     When Eliza Comes To Stay


The above verses are an advertisement for a play to be held in the Sligo Picture Palace, Adelaide Street on Friday 24 April, W. Payne Seddon’s own company in the "beautiful comedy" by H. V. Esmond. Payne Seddon owned the Palace Theatre at the time. For more on this theatre see poems from 1913 on this page.

The poem on Lough Gill, the well-known scenic lake near Sligo town, is a sad farewell to the town with references to the great war and to the story of the Wild Rose of Lough Gill, an historical novel by Patrick G Smyth, published in 1867.

The poet looks into the waters of the lake and sees the peaceful scene disturbed by "the
black clouds chasing through, Like mighty hosts that are bend on slaughter". Scenes of happiness and peace follow again disturbed by "demon war fiends" and the final happy scene is of "sweet Erin free".  

It is tempting to think this might have been written by a Sligoman on his way to war but there is nothing in the poem to confirm that. It seems more likely that some non-Sligo native is leaving the town, having maybe been employed in Kelly's Restaurant.

Sligo Champion 12 September 1914
           LOUGH GILL

O sweet Lough Gill I leave must take
The sun has set long in the Golden West,
And the merry song birds no longer make
The woods resound, all, all at rest.

A scene more happy, majestic, grand,
None eye hath seen than I beheld—
The sweetest gem in all the land;
Here nature placed its choicest mould.

With awe I tremble as I gaze into
The silvery hue of its placid water
And watch the black clouds chasing through,
Like mighty hosts that are bend on slaughter.

I hear a splash and a steady stroke,
The blood runs cold within my veins,
But an Irish melody the still air broke,
And fear no longer in my bosom reigns.

And happy visions of bygone days
Reveals to me a golden page,
In fancy I’m back in the bright old days
That was here, ’ere the blackened age.

When the "Wild Rose" and her young lover
Had oftimes wandered with wild delight
In the happy twilight—the mystic cover
That heralds the shield of darker night.

But the gilded page has disappeared,
And there hangs another of a darker mien,
At vantage points it is ruddy smeared,
O! heaven what sorrow for the young Bridal Queen*

O, sweet Lough Gill with a sickly glare
Was your surface tinged by the blood of men,
When demon war fiends lit the flare
And chased the happiness that so late hath been.

Yet once again the scene is turning,
And this time bright mayhap it be,
To life the veils of sorrow’s mourning
And portray the dawn—sweet Erin free.

Lovely lake, to thee I bid a fond farewell,
No other lake with thee can vie,
I would wish my home were in this dell,
And on thy bonny banks I would ever lie.


Kelly’s Restaurant,
Wine Street, Sligo.

*Wild Rose.

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