Treasure Island

Padraic Colum

(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

Old Woman of the Roads


O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!
Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house - a house of my own
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • * Sunprincess * (5/27/2014 12:54:00 PM)

    ...........a little house of my own with a beautiful flower garden is a dream of everyone....enjoyed.. (Report) Reply

  • Bernadette Snyder (5/13/2011 11:33:00 AM)

    My brother in Ireland recommended this poem to me and i've found it appropriate -
    i am looking for a little cottage somewhere. (Report) Reply

  • Shelagh Worsell (11/29/2008 3:24:00 PM)

    Following on from my comments regarding Old Woman of the Roads I hasten to add that I was given this to learn in a school in Bromley Kent during the war when all our regular teachers had been called up. The stand-in teacher was an actress who gave meaning to all the work she set us. Martin Swords you are incorrect in thinking that only Irish folk would understand. (Report) Reply

  • Shannon Quinn (10/8/2008 2:09:00 PM)

    I Love This Poem.. i Read It In Primary School And Learnt It.. And Now In Secondary School.. As iiT Is Almost National Poem Day.. ii Chose This Poem For My Best Poem (Report) Reply

  • Mary (mae) Kulka (6/28/2008 6:16:00 PM)

    I learned this when in Primary school in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. I love it because our teacher, Mrs Honan, RIP brought it to life for us. I am reciting it this afternoon at a Concert in my Parish. We are celebrating its 50th Anniversary. I hope I do it justice. I am pleased to have found your website and will visit it often DV

    Best wishes
    Mary (Mae) Kulka (Report) Reply

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