Ballad Of A Bard

Ballad Of A Bard

Poem Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet, Tom Ryan ©

To ramble is to wonder at the majesty of life.
All its rich diversity, serenity and strife.
For many a year I rambled, aye, I met times good and bad,
Some had tea pots for the rambler, and others a dog gone mad.
Oh, it’s weary, on the long road and how my feet get sore,
But what learning is a load, I think I’ll ramble more.
For life’s to me is seeking, till there’s nothing more to see.
You know, now that I think its like eternity.
Often on the darkest road, not even a star for light,
I think of a fixed abode, where never falls the night.
The long and lonely bitter night and the whistling wind and rain
When oft my heart gives way to fright, and my body’s tore with pain.
‘Tis then I ponder journey’s end, cold and old and sad,
‘Tis then I wonder where I’d go, aye, wonder till I’m mad.
But then always dawns the sun, the miracle of the morn.
Broken, broke and bewildered, with the sun I’m newly born.
And Nature, like a Spanish wine, engulfs my soul with joy,
And I go on the road again, but still keep asking why?
Ah, but the weary wherefores, that dull the heart of living,
That tear at the finest thoughts in manner unforgiving.
Ifs and buts and constantly, the never ceasing quest
Sweet birds’ sweetest harmony, is reasonless the best.
Yet, nigh always in my roving, I see strange sights it’s true,
The lonely wonder of the moon, the awesome sea of blue,
Queer things that bother reason and ways beyond the mind,
Aye, and queerest of them all, the goodness of mankind.
I met a widow woman three biscuits were her store
A cup of tea into my hand and then she had no more.
Yet did I see a wonder there that no one could imagine,
The wonder of a heart of care and, aye, it baffles reason.
I think it’s all this giving that nothing can defy
That makes life worth the living and living worth a try.
Just a friendly cup of tea and brown bread, sometimes bacon,
Oft drowns all rationality and reason’s overtaken.
Many a like yarn I’d relate, many a one tomorrow,
‘Tis love transforms the heart of hate, empties the cup of sorrow.
Lowlands, highlands, dale and glen, for many a lifelong season
I have trod time and again and ‘tis love gives me a reason.
Then my pen no longer traces each possibility;
Thank God for the friendly faces, for they are life to me.
For all such is a mirror of that which will not die
All troubles, tears and terror, depart with all the why.
For love was never reason, all reasons of the earth,
My God, my bones were freezing, but joy was in my heart.
Dear God, to whom we wander with every struggling mile.
Scorn not the hearts that ponder, they only sleep awhile.
And one day we will waken with all this rambling o’er,
Never again to reason or wherefore anymore.


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


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