‘The Life Of A Happy Woman’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Life Of A Happy Woman’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Stone walls deflected the stinging winds.
The mizzling rains had left the hill.
The cockerel had ceased his crowing as;
the new day banished an evaporating dew.

Eileen O’Leary, her days work begun,
ventured to the rush filled meadow.
The once black field now swathed in green
lightened a heart that had long suffered.

Within the cottage walls her baby gurgled,
rocked in the warmth of soft protective Aran.
The place was alive again, the nightmare over.
Hope returned slowly to an isle of haunted eyes.

Cold stones without names marked the slopes.
There, her orphan’s father claimed by pestilence lay.
Robbed of celebrating the sound of tiny footsteps,
cursed by deprivation and overlooked by mercy.

Barefoot on a cold hill Eileen eked out an existence.
Like others, continued in the preservation of a nation.
Ensured that life continued in the wake of devastation.
It is said that with time, she lived the life of a happy woman.


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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.