Sunday, June 23, 2013


A while back TOF mentioned the discovery of a folder containing poems written in high school and college years, the years when all young men are poets - or try to think they are.  TOF threatened at the time to post one of these Lost Gems of the Poetic Art here.  You have been warned.

Herewith a telling of a medieval Irish legend, part of a set portentously labeled Mythologies. 


Mochua lived, a holy man,
In a wilderness in Ireland.
He lived by the rule of poverty:
Of his comforts, he numbered three.

He had a mouse, a cock, a fly
     Most helpful in his care.
The cock awakened him betimes
     To bring him to his prayers.
The mouse would nibble at his ear
If the cock he did not hear.

The fly, so nimble and so light,
     Across the page would race,
So Mochua, as he prayed at night,
     Would never lose his place.

But Time, as with all mortal ills,
     Ran out upon these three;
And when at last they came to die
     The monk wept bitterly.
"Oh, when to wake!  Oh where to chant!
     My world is all upturned!
Oh, where to find three like those three
     To learn what they had learned?"

On far Iona, Colum Cille
     Heard old Mochua's cry,
And in reproof he wrote to him
     And said, "O brother, why
Thou shouldst have known this by thyself:
That worry follows in the wake of wealth."

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