Padraic Colum

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

Old Woman Of The Roads - Poem by Padraic Colum

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.

Comments about Old Woman Of The Roads by Padraic Colum

  • (7/22/2018 2:40:00 PM)

    I first. learned this poem at school, when I was quite young.I cried about the old woman, having no family or home to live in.
    It left a profound memory on me, that have I carried all my life.
    My parents always looked after those in need old or young.
    I still cry when I recite it.
    (Report) Reply

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  • (7/18/2018 3:08:00 AM)

    fondest memories of my beloved mother who was able to resite this entire poem even when alzeimers had robbed her of many other memories, she dearly loved it and would tell me how glad she was that the lady had her own home in the end (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2018 2:17:00 AM)

    In 1949 my primary class at Glebelands Dundee under Mrs. Nichol, won a poetry competition with our delivery of this poem, I don't know why but I woke up this morning with the poem on my mind, we loved poetry in those days and I myself have penned many, many poems and songs, but it all started then, in 1949. (Report) Reply

  • (6/17/2018 7:02:00 PM)

    Iv loved this poem since I learned ot in Primary School (Report) Reply

  • (3/6/2018 4:53:00 PM)

    I learned the poem in the '50, s. I loved it then and I still do. (Report) Reply

  • (2/12/2018 8:01:00 PM)

    Learned this poem in Primary School. Glad to have found it here thank you for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (11/7/2015 9:50:00 PM)

    The paradise we fail to appreciate..the security of ones on lil house, the pleasure of dusting and cleaning and daily chores at a place called home..only a wanderer and a homeless can appreciate..well knit poem thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (11/7/2015 1:26:00 PM)

    A story about a woman's heart regardless if she be Irish, Swedish, Australian, American- most women want to build themselves a nest (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2015 1:28:00 AM)

    The plight of an old woman living on a forlorn road and her desire to have her own little house have been marvelously depicted. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

  • (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

  • (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

    (1/2/2015 1:29:00 PM)

    You appear to have misread his comment. Rather than claim that only Irish people would understand he instead simply stated that it is often misunderstood outside Ireland. As an Irish drama teacher who has taught in both Ireland and Britain I would tend to concur with his sentiment.

  • (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

  • (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

  • (8/26/2007 3:24:00 PM)

    A classic poem, but often misunderstood outside Ireland (Report) Reply

    (12/31/2018 11:08:00 AM)

    Ilearnd this poem at primary school x recited it to the class in 1942 x understood the meaning of it x it stayed in my memory x imagination of the old lady x I appreciated I had a good home x family

Read all 15 comments »

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Read poems about / on: house, fire, wind, rain, dark, night, woman, god, women

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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