Nora prays for peace surely
In the shadow of Synge


“It’ll be more he’ll be wantin’ surely
And him after proppin’ up the counter
Down in Paudín’s half the night.
Holdin’ court and rámeishing out of him
Aye.., and they hanging on his every word
As if it was worth listenin’ to at all at all.
Rámeish and rubbish he’d be givin’ out
And buying all round him,
“…May the givin’ hand never falter…”
and “…a bird never flew on one wing…”
They’d be thinkin’, pretendin’ he was a great fella’
“You’re surely right Dan, never a truer word spoke”
The shout would go up making him feel important
And they laughin’.
Whiskey and Porter how are ye, and not bit,
bite nor sup in the house.
It’s a power of sorrow does be on me
With the way he is now.
And yet…when we were young there wasn’t
A man in the Glen to match him for herdin’
Sheep and shearin’…he was bright,
And I was glad.
Oh no…none could touch him for a fleece.

Fleece…it’s him bein’ fleeced below in
Paudín’s now. A changed man this thirty year
Since the business with the scythe.
Mind…it doesn’t stop him liftin’ pints,
bad arm or no, but his pride is gone.

Whisht…I hear his foot on the step,
Please God and His Holy Mother,
He’ll be drunk to fall off straight, and leave
me in peace in me bed of sorrows”.

Martin Swords
May 2006

To all scholars of John Millington Synge 1871 – 1909, apologies.

This poem is written in the style and language used by Synge in his plays “ The Playboy of the Western World, The Well of the Saints, In the Shadow of the Glen, etc.”, partly as an exercise, and partly because I love
the language of the plays surely.

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