‘Dancing With Nancy’ © Joe Canning 2015. All Rights Reserved.

‘Dancing With Nancy’
© Joe Canning 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Young Nancy was fresh as the blossoming rose,
and she wandered the hillsides of Slane.
It was never a secret that she was in love with;
young Mikey that laboured the lanes.
Mikey was born into poor country folk,
to crofters that laboured the farm,
and each day he danced with young Nancy, around;
the grand oak by Slattery’s barn.

Laughing and lilting, in circles they went,
on that moss bed of acorn and leaf,
staring intently in each others eyes
’twas a love that defied all belief.
Nancy’s stern father came on them one day,
to young Mikey he laid down the law,
“No pauper like you will win my daughter’s hand”!
and his whip went across Mikey’s jaw.

“Oh Father, dear father! I love this young man,
he’s a pearl that shines bright in my heart,
he’s the love of my life and I must be with him
Oh father! don’t tear us apart”.
Uncaring, unfeeling, he ordered her home; and
to Mikey he hissed a stern warning,
“Cease your liaisons with my daughter, sir,
Or your family forthwith, will cease farming”.

Nancy she watched from her window each night,
longing to glimpse her young lover.
Mikey would stand in the courtyard at night,
and in secret they waved to each other,
but a groomsman’s report to the Master was made,
and by birdsong at dawn of next day
a grand carriage pulled up outside by the green
and took heartbroken Nancy away.

Mikey he vowed as he ran alongside,
he promised his undying love.
“Ne’er will I dance with another again,
till you’re held in these arms, Nancy love”.
But he’d never see his young darling again,
for soon after, she fell to consumption,
Mikey then sailed on a westward bound ship;
with a heavy heart labouring to function.

Three score and ten years then passed quickly by,
before Mikey came home once again.
Travelling the long road from Dublin he came
past Garristown, Newgrange to Slane.
He stopped by the ruin where Nancy once waved
Imagined her there in her bliss,
and then in the heat of that glorious day
an old Mikey, he walked to the hill.

My story is folklore in tales around here,
of the lovers whose love was denied,
Of the old man seen dancing around the oak tree,
on his own, as the day became night.
How they found him next morning, at peace by the tree,
On his face an immovable smile,
and two sets of footprints encircled the tree,
where that love that once bloomed, never died.

Joe Canning’s Poetry Page on Facebook:


Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.