Saga of a Family

Saga of a family



Late summer, drone of bumble bee

Still air hangs sullen and heavily

On grey slabs your names are etched

Blood of blood. Flesh of my flesh

Priest proclaimed “I am the light”

Dead are gone to endless night

Ancestral faces never known

The path from you to me and mine

Role call of a family

Your stories handed down to me.


(Part 1 Thomas and Ester)


The first arrived on virgin snow

Twelve score and nineteen years ago

Stark world outlined in black and white

Bitter cold. Silent night

Running from blight ridden fields

Death and hunger the curs snapping at their heels

Man and wife with child at breast

Landless vagabonds, poor at best

With palmers pledge of relief

Came to the Pale seat of the beast


On Palmers estate in old kenure

Tenants with hard won tenure

Twelve years hard labour for the peer

Labourer, stockman then  cottier

First family home in Thomastown

Walls built strong from grey limestone

A home in which to raise your boy

Growing sturdy, mothers joy

Ten acres that you call your own

Blue cow to milk, potatoes sown


Under rule of God and King

Worked the land from Spring to Spring

Ester’s love a constant light

In young Andrew’s strength you found delight

Memories of northern birth place

Fade like long lost mothers face

Hard times gone left in their stead a thief

Ester desolate, barren womb a silent grief


(Part II Andrew and Margaret)

Dave Kavanagh January 2007


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