‘The View From The Master’s Window’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.
The photograph is beautiful, of that there is no doubt,
but think beyond that scene my friend to times of hungry mouths
When beggars begged from servant girls outside the master’s door
and hounds were set upon them to protect the master’s store.
Think about the servant girls that scrubbed and toiled and cleaned.
and henchmen whipping peasants ’til they dropped dead in the fields.
Yes, what a pretty picture of those mountains climbing high,
silent witnesses to crimes my friend, old poets have described.
Think of fancy silks that once the selfish gentry wore,
young ladies seeking fortunes marrying old men to have more,
cavorting with the coachmen to fulfil their lustful greed,
and servant girls being forced to serve the master’s lecherous needs.
Think of slaving labourers as they sweated in the glen,
that carted stones of tumbled homes and theirs was one of them.
and when their tasks were finished and the mansion was in place,
how masters danced as tenants died from eating poisonous weeds.
Imagine foreign symphonies that filled these marbled halls,
the vanity of self portraits adorning curtained walls.
And in the vale their crowbar thug dispensed a daily terror.
as his dancing pay lord waltzed his waltz before his gold leaf mirror.
Look further now to yonder hill where once the children played,
where once the sword did cut them down creating death and plague,
when blackguards toasted kings and queens on their Irish traitor knees,
whilst sending to the stinking ships, the families from the fields.
Yes, what a lovely picture Sir, and wondrous is the scene,
There’s thousands more just like it on this little isle of green.
The picture tells a story Sir, and cameras seldom lie,
but they only capture what is seen, not pain of torturous times.
Photo: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow