by Tom Power, Kill, Co Waterford
Now empty and forlorn you watch the seasons come and go
But what care you for summer sun or a fall of winter snow;
The ivy now grows green around your ancient wall,
No music now or song from within your banquet hall,
No noise around you now but the lowing of the cattle.
But if I stand and listen I might hear the sound of battle.
Cromwell came and did lay siege – he attacked and attacked again,
But each attack was bravely met by your mistress and her men;
around your grounds and ramparts the sound of sword and gun.
After many days of battle they had Cromwell on the run.
But then disaster struck and all because of a drink,
no, not the alcoholic kind, but a keg of butter milk.
The chief gunner was dissatisfied, he expected a stronger brew,
So above your battered walls the surrender flag he flew,
Cromwell then gained entry; revenge was in his eyes,
He blew up the castle and your mistress bravely died;
From inside your broken walls smoke curled up to the sky,
No one loves a traitor so Cromwell hung the gunner high.
Now a ruin you gaze across that lonely Annestown bog,
where you watched them haul the turf in summers now long gone.
You tower above the winding road a reminder of the past,
below you now on that same road cars and tractors travel fast,
but you go back for centuries, perhaps you can recall,
when they were no road, but just a path through oak woods big and tall.
In this peaceful valley now the song birds sweetly sing,
The river Ann flows gently by the ruined castle of Dunhill;
And if you pass this way, going to Annestown or Tramore,
As you gaze up at castle you might see the Mistress De La Poer;
Is that her wandering there, where she fought and died so proud,
Or perhaps it’s just a trick of light, the shadow of a passing cloud.
* Tom Power published a book of poems in 2007, “Waterford In Pictures And Verse”, launched at the Arts Centre Dungarvan by Julian Walton. His novel, “The Mysterious John Grey” is available from email@example.com.