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Sligo Independent 25 October 1913

              THE SEASONS.

On crisp October’s airy morn
The huntsman sounds his bugle horn;
The sportsman’s gun re-echoes sound
From hills and rocks and woods around;
Just now autumn’s parting blast
Is certain sure the leaves to cast,
Skipping, twirling, helter-skelter,
Hazle, (sic) chestnuts and beechmast,
Faded fern and russet heather,
Usher in the winter weather.

Next in course comes dark November,
Quickly followed by December;
Following these with blast and fury,
Comes the stormy keen January,
Spreading cold where’re you go,
Covering hill and dale with snow.

February is next to come,
Where crocus bud and snowdrops bloom;
When first buds come on the larch,
Arrives the blustering boy called March,
When Zephyrs whirl, sport and play
Among the trees the live-long day,
From dusk of eve to early dawn,
Across the hills and down the lawn.

Next who comes is April mild,
Termed a meek and quiet child,
She has beams amid her showers,
Busy are bees and birds in her bowers.
The next that comes, I’m glad to say,
Is mild, genial, pleasant May,
When lambs play and frisk around
Their dams with active, nimble bound;
The cuckoo’s note and skylark’s song
Cheer me through the whole day long.

The ploughman whistles as he drives
His team at noon down the hillside;
Everything has joy for me,
The flowers, the trees, the honey bee,
And when I pause and look around,
The air is filled with joyful sound,
All things delight in bright sunshine,
The main who sings milking the kine.

                                     R. Phibbs

This is a competent, well constructed rhyme which contains all the usual "poetic" reflections on the seasons. It has many of the standard words and references of earlier pastoral poetry - morn, russet, dale, Zephyrs, eve, dams, bowers, kine - which might be found in school textbooks of the times.

The phrase "certain sure" does strike me as being a particularly west of Ireland phrase.

In the Census of Ireland for 1911 there are two Richard Phibbs in County Sligo, a father and son living in Carrickbanagher, south Sligo. The father is a farmer and the son, aged 22 in 1911, no occupation given, seems the most likely author of this poem.

Of couse the author could be from outside Sligo but there are no R. Phibbs in Leitrim in the 1911 Census.

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