Thramping Down to Sligo - Sligo Poets

Go to content

Main menu:

1913 > Sligo Poetry 1913 > Sligo Champion

  Sligo Champion 12 April 1913

Thrampin’ down to Sligo with my peddler’s
There’s Dublin left behind me and the
            plains of Kildare,
Thrampin down to Sligo and the ways
            of my heart
Where Maurya’s waitin for me in her
            grey-streaked hair;
Just the same dear woman that I kissed
            by Loch Gill
Thirty-seven years ago, and my Maurya

I’m sick of Dublin city with its noise and
            its fret,
I’m sick of sellin’ vanithees my wares
            by the road,
For down beyond the Shannon the black-
            thorn bushes set
Their little blossoms out to say that Spring
            is abroad;
And one old thrush I’m knowin’ these five
            years and more
Is settin’ up her nest beside my own cabin

My little donkey’s tired, and I am tired,
When sixty years are on you what joy
            is there in life
But to rest beside the things you know are
            always thrue,
And what to man is thruer than his home
            and his wife!–
So I’m thrampin’ down to Sligo, to my own
            heart’s share
Where Maurya’s waitin for me in her grey-
            streaked hair.

The nights are sweet about me and the
            dawns rain grey
And every step I go is over good Irish
‘Were you ever in America?’ a man said
‘Begor, I never was,’ said I, ‘I thank
            my God;’
So I’m thrampin down to Sligo where the
            sea winds race
And there’s welcome waitin’ for me in my
            Maurya’s face.

                                  Teresa Brayton.

Above: Teresa Brayton in 1913

This poem, by the author of the well-known Old Bog Road, was published in her collection Songs Of The Dawn and Irish Ditties (New York, P. J. Kennedy & Son, 1913).

Teresa Brayton was a poet and nationalist, born
near Kilcock in Co. Kildare in 1868. She emigrated to America in 1895 and became well known in Irish-American circles.

She published extensively in many American newspapers and magazines. In 1913 she published her first book of poetry from which this poem comes. She published The Flame of Ireland in 1926 and Christmas Verses in 1934.

Her main themes were the exile's nostalgic loss of homeland, nationalism and religion. She returned permanently to Ireland in 1932 and died in her home, Kilbrook, in 1943. President de Valera unveiled a memorial cross over her grave in 1959.

This poem is a good example of her work with a strong rhythm and rhymes. It is full of nostalgia for the west of Ireland, its rain, cabins, blackthorn bushes and sea winds. It also contains a number of attempts to reproduce an Irish accent through spelling - 'thrampin", 'vanithees', 'yestherday'.

There is little effort to fill our any story in the poem and it could even be inferred that the peddler has not seen his wife, Maurya, for thirty-seven years!

The third line (
italicised) in the first stanza was omitted, presumably by mistake, when this was printed in the Sligo Champion.

Back to content | Back to main menu