Ireland long bore the name of Granuaile, which is Gaelic for Grace O’Malley a chieftainess whose headquarters were on Clare Island, off the west coast of Ireland. There stood the Tower of Carrigahooley, which she called “the rock of her fleet.” She was a wild and successful warrior. Queen Elizabeth admired her and entertrained her in the royal palace.
Fancy being brought face to face with the great ocean representing on the map an expanse of water between the Irish and the American shores of no less than five thousand miles. No intervening territory meets the eye the whole length of this prodigious waterway, no strip of land, no cliffs, not even a bare rock on which a sea bird might perch. As a Clare boatman once said to a party of tourists;
“Just throw a stone from where you are now and it will fall into another world, barring it didn’t sink in the water.”
The surpassing grandeur of the great Atlantic ‘in breeze, or gale, or storm’ is in itself something to gaze upon. There behold the mighty sea, almost along the entire shore, rolled back ‘from dusk till dawn, and from dawn till dusk again,’ in masses of foam against huge frowning, raven-coloured rocks. The din of the conflict scarcely ever ceases, while day and night those sable cliffs valiantly repulse their fierce assailants.
The cliffs of Moher, lining the coast of Clare for five miles, are in themselves a simple marvel. Moher, an iron-bound barrier, erected by Nature to repel the lashing fury of the ocean, is pronounced on all bands to be the finest pile of rock that guards the margin of our sea girt land. Try and imagine a serried array of boulders rising abruptly at low water mark to an altitude ranging from 600 to, it is said, 1,000 feet, and this is Moher.
These towers of the sea are not so tall as others in Ireland – for instance, in Crohahawn in Achill, or Slieveneague in Donegal. It is to be remembered, however, that the precipitous cliffs on the Mayo coast repose in their sockets at an angle of about 45 degrees; but the Clare Peaks, sheer perpendicular elevations, stand rooted and immovable against the rage of the tempest, and are more than proof against almost perpetual winds from the west.
Some notion may be formed of the violence of western hurricanes on the coast of Clare by the fact that trees planted inwards fifty miles from the Cliffs of Moher acquire a bend towards the eastern horizon. The power of the blasts off sea is enhanced by the indented character of the shore in this portion of Ireland.
Huge recesses of the Atlantic are frequent, and add immensely to the fascinations of the Clare Coast. From Liscanor (sic) to Doonbeg the ocean forms a spacious bay at Corcomroe and other charming inlets of smaller size. The fresh invigoration breezes, surcharged with ozone, that play around on all sides of the coast of Clare acknowledges no compeer anywhere.
I would love to be in Galway when the flowers begin to bloom,
And the hawthorn scents the air for miles around.
When the birds begin to warble their welcome to the spring
No sweeter spot on earth can e’er be found;
When Croagh Patrick starts to brighten and clad in verdant green,
I dream about its slopes and sadly moan;
As I listen to the Claddagh rippling onward to the sea,
I would love to be in Galway, “Home, Sweet Home”.
I would love to be in Galway when the tide breaks on the shore.
And the silver mists are rising from the sea.
When the summer sun in brightness lights the valleys all around,
And nature’s jewels are sparkling, I can see
The little old thatched cottage and the ivy creeping round
And the skylark thrilling in the vaulted dome:
Among quiet nooks and dells fairy music softly swells.
I would love to be in Galway. “Home, Sweet Home”.
I would love to be in Galway in the autumn of the year,
When the gentle sighing zephyrs sweep the vales;
And the turf fire burning brightly as the children cluster nightly
To listen to those dear old fairy tales.
Then my thoughts go home to mother and my home across the sea.
In dreams across Atlantic’s wave they roam.
I would love to be in Galway just to close my eyes and rest.
Oh, I would love to be in Galway,
“Home, Sweet Home.”
EAST OREGONIAN: SEPTEMBER 29, 1913 P 4
THE FAR CALL – JUDD MORTIMER LEWIS
The Galway roads are calling, calling to the Galway-born;
They can see the dew-wet hedges shining jeweled in the morn!
They can hear the heart-born laughter of each childhood-known gossoon,
And o’nights they hear the fiddles in a well remembered tune,
And the Galway voices call them where the Galway children play.
And their hearts turn back to Galway
Aye, from half the world away!
And the Devon roads are calling, calling to the Devon-born;
They can smell the English roses in the sweetness of the morn;
They can see the white winged fishers homing when the day is done,
On a sea all crimson glory form the setting Devon sun;
And the blue-eyed Devon lassies call them from the long ago,
And their hearts are sick for Devon when the sun is red and low.
And the Scottish hills are calling – call the Scottish banks and braes;
And the Holland dikes and lowlands;
and call loud Italian ways.
From wherever men were children,
North or South or East or West,
Comes the call to those who’ve wandered when their faltering limbs would rest,
It is not the home ways calling when the evening sun sinks low,
It is lost youth calling, calling; but they never seem to know.