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The Galway Fisherman – 1915

Advocate (Melbourne) 29th March 1915 p8

Currach  Inishbofin, Galway.  Photo: d'Alvaro Wikimedia Commons
Inishbofin, Galway.
Photo: d’Alvaro
Wikimedia Commons

The Galway Fisherman

Blue waves are softly lapping Innishmann
With gentle swell,
The hardy fisher rising at the dawn
Man’s coracle.

With hasty prayer to guard ‘gainst wind and foam
He bows his head,
And steals a look at his poor Claddagh home
That waits for bread.

There tiny hands, with mother bending low,
Are joined to pray,
That God and Mary make the soft winds blow
O’er Galway Bay.

For smiling sea, the storm may darken o’er
With sudden force,
And many a wake is held along the shore
Without a corse.

Eager of heart, he skims the tranquil wave
With sturdy oar;
Perchance some day the tempest dark may rave
He’ll come no more!

As all the western race that haunt the sea
Face danger still
And murmur low, whate’er the end may be,
“Sure, ’tis God’s will.”

For he has played full many a time before
A game with death,
When sped his skin-clad boat by Arran’s shore
In trusty faith.

And if perchance is ‘whelmed his manly pride
‘Neath storm and spray
Be sure fond hearts upon the Corrib’s side
Will for him pray.

But, oh the joy when evening shades descend
Upon his toil
His coracle is low from end to end
With silver spoil.

O’er Innishmann the sun’s last rays are gone,
The shore lights burn
There wait the loving hearts who prayed at dawn
For his return.

The Abbey bell faint o’er the water swells
The night has come
The cooling land breeze on his moist brow tells
He’s nearing home.

Where hoping wife and little ones wait on
Thro’ anxious day,
To greet him gaily and the prize he won
From Galway Bay.

Lis Mor, in Dublin ‘Leader’