Charles Joseph Kickham

(9 May 1828 – 22 August 1882 / Mullinahone / Ireland)

The Irish Peasant Girl


She lived beside the Anner,
At the foot of Slievna-man,
A gentle peasant girl,
With mild eyes like the dawn;
Her lips were dewy rosebuds;
her teeth of pearls rare;
And a snow-drift ’neath a beechen bough
Her neck and nut-brown hair.

How pleasant ’twas to meet her
On Sunday, when the bell
Was filling with its mellow tones
Lone wood and grassy dell
And when at eve young maidens
Strayed the river bank along,
The widow’s brown-haired daughter
Was loveliest of the throng.

O brave, brave Irish girls—
We well may call you brave!—
Sure the least of all your perils
Is the stormy ocean wave,
When you leave our quiet valleys,
And cross the Atlantic’s foam,
To hoard your hard-won earnings
For the helpless ones at home.

“Write word to my own dear mother—
Say, we’ll meet with God above;
And tell my little brothers
I send them all my love;
May the angels ever guard them,
Is their dying sister’s prayer”—
And folded in a letter
Was a braid of nut-brown hair.

Ah, cold and well-nigh callous,
This weary heart has grown
For thy helpless fate, dear Ireland,
And for sorrows of my own;
Yet a tear my eye will moister,
When by Anner side I stray,
For the lily of the mountain foot
That withered far away.

Submitted: Friday, May 11, 2012
Edited: Friday, May 11, 2012

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  • Bronze Star - 5,487 Points Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (10/13/2014 7:42:00 PM)

    The plight of Irish immigrant during the potato famine of the 19th- that's the reason why so many Irish immigrants came to the United States.Our Lady Liberty the statue in the harbor welcomes all to this country..My parents emigrated from France after WW2 was over and i born here.Almost all of us are immigrants or descendents of people who came to start a life in a new land to escape persecution of various degrees..This world is getting smaller or so it seems and we to learn to co-exist in harmony.. good poemm.I know the poet is long gone but may we always respect our heritage and honor the spirit within Humanity. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,680 Points John Richter (10/13/2014 7:42:00 AM)

    I find the flow and meter very well placed. The constant rhyme makes this quite an enjoyable read. This is my first encounter with Mr. Kickham and I'm certain there will be many more to come. He falls well within the style of my favorite poets who are all 19th century bards.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 182 Points Karen Sinclair (10/13/2012 5:08:00 AM)

    Certain parts i struggle to keep the flow as i was far too distracted by the beautiful visions i saw through the writers words.... i know this is a fine write as it evoked strong emotions and one tear...lovely (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,988 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (10/13/2012 2:21:00 AM)

    Fantastic tribute written by words. The peasant girl...if not any historical character... has been uploaded as the part of history. If there any clue with the Irish history which we don't know, yet feel it high. In first case, as a common character, poet creates an epic and for the last guessing poet flags as a true citizen. Beautiful writing which should be considered as classic...................................Pranab k c (Report) Reply

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