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What The Shutter Said As She Lay By The Fire

Padraic Colum 1881 (County Longford) – 1972 (Enfield)

In The Farmer's House
I'M glad to lie on a sack of leaves
By a wasted fire and take my ease.
For the wind would strip me bare as a tree
The wind would blow oul’ age upon me,
And I'm dazed with the wind, the rain, and the cold!
If I had only the good red gold
To buy me the comfort of a roof,
And under the thatch the brown of the smoke!
I'd he up in my painted room
Until my hired girl would come;
And when the sun had warmed my walls
I'd rise up in my silks and shawls,
And break my fast beside the fire.
And Fd watch them that had to sweat
And shiver for shelter and what they ate
The farmer digging in the fields,
The beggars going from gate to gate,
The horses striving with their loads,
And all the sights upon the roads.

I'd live my lone without clan nor care,
And none around me to crave a share:
The young have mocking, impudent ways,
And I'd never let them a-nigh my place,
And a child has often a pitiful face.
I'd give the rambling fiddler rest,
And for me he would play his best,
And he'd have something to tell of me
From the Moat of Granard down to the sea!
And, though I'd keep distant, I'd let in

Oul' women who would card and spin,
And clash with me, and I'd hear it said,
'Mor, who used to carry her head
As if she was a lady bred,
Has little enough in her house, they say;
And such a one's child I saw on the way
Scaring crows from a crop, and glad to get
In a warmer house, the bit to eat
Oh, none are safe and none secure,
And it's well for some whose bit is sure!'

I'd never grudge them the weight of their lands
If I had only the good red gold
To huggle between my breast and my hands!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:46 min read

Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children's author and collector of folklore. more…

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