An Emigrant’s Dream

                         The Emigrant’s Last Farewell, Alfred Grey RHA, Irish Artist, 1845 – 1926.

An Emigrant’s Dream  (© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.)

The pictures in mind are enthralling, as you count the days to go home,
As you sit and ponder the vista that’s a vision almighty bar none.
The faces and places of childhood that were once so familiar at school.
Oh, come back, come back to the wild wood, for the world has been playing the fool.

You get on the plane or the boat then your heart nigh exploding with joy,
Come back, come back to the wild wood, where once you played as a boy,
Come back to the quiet, dusty roadways where you hurled at night before bed,
Near the old sweet shop on the corner, frequented by ‘boyos’ now dead.
The song is bursting the heart strings, the memories flood into the soul,
Come back, come back to the wild wood, for the world has been playing the fool.

Ah, the dreaming, the dreaming destroys you, with your heart half at home and away.
Like all of our race it’s the dreaming that can never right take you away.
And amid all the grandeur and plenty and the glories not heard of at school.
Sings the wind: “Come back to the wild wood, for the world has been playing the fool.”

The old ways have changed ah but little, there’s a poorness of many a kind.
Yet, as the days to go way draw nearer, your heart takes over your mind.
For, though happy enough in the new land, that has given you more than the rule,
O’er the din of the plane goes that old refrain, “Come back, come back you fool.”

Ah, me but the heart is a torment, you’re doing all right over there,
And there’s little enough or nothing in the land that caused you care.
But for all the dark desperation, and your tongue can be thorny cruel,
There’s the beat of an air, so near despair, “The world has played the fool”.

In that land away from the wild wood, you make with a proud strong face,
As you ply your trade and charms parade for another kind of race.
You are so proud of the land behind, as you sit on a high posh stool,
But the song that lasts long is on your mind, “Ah, the world has played the fool.”     END.

Tom Ryan “Iona” Rahealty, Thurles, County Tipperary.


4 comments to An Emigrant’s Dream

  • Michael

    A nice one

  • Katie

    George. Oh so true. I have emailed it to a lovely Irish Couple in Melbourne. He is a great story teller about Ireland and will love this. I must tell you this; I think it is hilariously funny. John loves to go into the charity shops like St. Vincent’s he always says you never know what you might fined. He loves his art, the house is full of the stuff. So he found this lovely painting of Cockington Village in Devon UK. Well what a surprise when he saw his relation’s signature on it. George the best part of this is John bought it for $5.00 but his cousin would be charging at least 500 TO 600 hundred Euro’s for it in his shop. We don’t know how it came into St. Vincent’s but The usual is from an estate where the person may have passed away. There now George You and Michael and your readers can have a laugh at this unusual find.

  • Vincent Barber

    Beautiful poem for anyone living overseas or indeed living in Ireland but not the town of their birth.

  • George Willoughby

    Nice find Katie, well done.

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