Tuesday, 5 February 2013
And When I'm Past
And when I'm past what will they say?
No knee on cap to “kneel and pray”
My dust will travel leagues away
To Lough Ree’s sheltered shore.
My path will pass the steel red bridge
Where Daltons left their last cream fridge
Two round bales on Ryan’s ridge
Where Michael swam no more.
They’ll claim that I was good for nought
Who never once did what I ought
And for the wrong cause always fought
And fought in vain.
It will all be above my hairless head
When I’m well and truly dead
I’ll slumber in eternal bed
My tent the grass, my bath the rain.
What legacy will I leave behind?
To benefit others of my kind
That they’ll remember time out of mind
When I’ve passed on.
There won’t be riches to be spent
No guinea, florin or red cent
No paying back of what I’ve spent
My assets truly gone.
Yet when I’m gone like Peters ass
My green will still be hue of grass
The leaves will still salute my pass
On stream of breeze.
A sentry still in drain and dike
The chain on Seanin’s Nellie bike
The flash on belly of proud pike
Valves in old TV’s.
I’ll see them then, I’ll see them all
The hags and bandits, big and small
From lichen on Dan Connors wall
At Ballymulvey bog,
I’ll read their thoughts and see their shame
And watch them relegate the blame
To other cowards, timid, tame
Those demons in the fog.
And when I'm past my lines will live
And seep through pores of human sieve,
No favours ask, no quarter give
To squatter, saint or squire.
If I can guide them from above
I'll point the way with spectral glove
For only care is born of love,
I know this from the men behind the wire.
I'll ride the wind, I'll be the wind,
They'll all know well that I have sinned
From all the cherries I've untinned
And thrown in the dust.
Heavenly gravel I will spread
Or ashes of a bloody red
They wont know if I am dead
Or walking with the just.
And then I'll see the total truth,
Who played the game or stuck the boot,
Who paid their dues or took the loot
From him who could not pay,
Transparent will be each low life
Backstabbing with the traitors knife
Who wronged his neighbour and his wife
Yet knelt with men to pray.
I'll meet again with friend and foe
With Ned and Nan and 'Comie' Joe
and Mikeen in the come and go
in land of country song,
I'll see Tom Yorke and Annie May
Bill Percival heading cocks of hay,
and Mickeen Keegan in a play
where all men sing along.
My gansey will be pure new wool
My whiskey tumbler always full
My servent will be called John Bull
Just for the blast,
I'll send a telegram from the sky
When you see rain, pretend I cry,
We'll be meeting in the by and by
That's when I'm past.