A Gaelic Christmas

by Liam P. Clancy

Their hearts are filled with Pity's mead,
And their souls are sorrow-laden,
When they hear of God's Handmaiden
Without housheen in her need.

Did Mary walk the bohreens green
From Shannon's shore to Galway's border,
The homes of Clare were set in order,
To shield her from the East winds keen.

My grief it is, and bitter woe,
That first to greet the Infant Treasure
Were men with love so mean of measure,
And not my kin by Shannon's flow,

Tho' Thomond heights be bleak and bare,
And Thomond folk but poor and lowly,
With a welcome warm and rapture holy
They'd share their store with the Strangers there.

If Mary went the winding road
From fair Aylroo to far Liscannor,
With matchless grace of mien and manner
Some banathee would ease her load:

She'd lilt a haunting "Husheen-ho,"
Or croon an olden Gaelic number,
To lull the Babe to smiling slumber
Before the turf-fire's fitful glow.

O, would that Mary's feet but trod,
That Christmas Eve, some Thomond valley,-
With a joy untold my kin would rally
To dower with gifts the Lamb of God.


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