I sit beside the firelights cheery glow
In London’s city far away from home,
And then again in memory I will go
Across the sea to The Old Cornerstone.
T’was there that first I saw the light of day
And passed my boyhood through those golden years
When we were young and cares were far away
And hearts were free from Life’s disturbing fears.
T’was in that sheltered town I went to school
And oft incurred the wrath of cross old Dick
That hoary teacher one certain rule
Was to impress his pupils with his stick.
But he has long since gone to his reward
Let not my pen dispraise an honoured name
His faithful Soul’s in keeping with the Lord,
Returned to rest again from whence it came.
T’was there I heard of Fenian men of yore
Who fought to loosen the oppressors hand,
But beaten as their fathers were before
They died in exile in Van Diemans land.
And how that town could boast of men of note
Whose name will always live in historys page
Of Michael Kavanagh and John Walsh the poet
The guiding genius of a troubled age.
How oft I strayed along Blackwaters side,
In my mind its beauty I will always see
How often in my youthful days I tried
To scale the ruined castle at Kilbree.
What happy days my memory can recall,
Of pleasant evenings on that winding road,
Where boys and men used swing the iron ball
Along the highway to the monks abode.
The vision fades and I am back once more,
The hectic life of London won’t atone
Ill fares the system which made thousands pour
Across the sea from The Old Cornerstone.
By William O’Donnell
©2013 The estate of William O’Donnell (Chiswick)