Old Woman Of The Roads Poem by Padraic Colum

Old Woman Of The Roads

Rating: 3.1


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 OF THE POEM
Susan Williams 07 November 2015

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

32 3 Reply
Bernadette Snyder 13 May 2011

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

17 5 Reply
Martin Swords 26 August 2007

A classic poem, but often misunderstood outside Ireland

15 5 Reply
Patricia wellock 31 December 2018

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

1 0 Reply
Shelagh Worsell 29 November 2008

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.

15 5 Reply
Paul Murray 19 September 2021

I remember been taught this poem in 'St Michaels' prepariatipm school, over70 years ago. And it is still my favourite poem of all time.

0 0 Reply
Anne Brady 21 May 2021

Love this poem, learned it in Carnaree school about 70 years ago, and can still remember all of it.

1 0 Reply

What memories flowed over me, Reminds me of being young School our Teacher & school friends, over 60yr ago, So Beautiful can still recite,

1 0 Reply
Kathleen Staddon 24 July 2019

Learned this as a child in killorglin about 70 years ago..Strangely, I always felt comfort when reciting it as I visualised being cosy out of the wind and rain.I can still recite most of it.Never recited it to my 4 Australian children so it’s about time I did.

2 0 Reply
Ann Gilliver 09 July 2019

Just so real and fine, learnt this at about 8 years of age, long time ago, brought to life again by a very special friend.

1 0 Reply
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Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum

County Longford
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