Grand Canal and Royal Canal

(C) Marta Stoklosa
(C) Marta Stoklosa

“On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –
O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.”

Patrick Kavanagh

(C) Marta Stoklosa
(C) Marta Stoklosa

“A hungry feeling came o’er me stealing
And the mice were squealing
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

To begin the morning
The warder’s bawling
“Get out of bed
And clean up your cell”

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

On a fine spring evening
The lag lay dreaming
The seagulls wheeling
High above the wall

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

The screw was peeping
The lag was sleeping
While he lay weeping
For his girl Sal

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

The wind was rising
And the day declining
As I lay pining
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

In the female prison
There are seventy women
I wish it was with them
That I did dwell

Then the old triangle
Could go jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

The day was dying
And the wind was sighing
As I lay crying
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal.”

Brendan Behan

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