On Mangan's 'A Vision Of Connacht'
I walked entranced
by Francis Duggan
Through a land of morn
The sun with wondrous excess of light
Shone down and glanced over seas of corn
And lustrous gardens aleft and right
Even in the clime of resplendent Spain
Beams no such sun upon such a land,
But it was the time,
'Twas in the reign,
Of Cahal Mor of the Wine-red Hand'.
'From the first verse of James Clarence Mangan's 1803 to 1849 'A Vision Of Connacht In The Thirteenth Century'
When Mangan wrote of Cahal Mor the one of the Wine red hand
He talked of a glorious age in old Ireland
'Twas a time of plenty or so it does seem
The marvellous age of the great Celtic dream.
In his Vision of Connacht of the thirteenth century Ireland's National poet
Of a time of abundance and prosperity wrote
And in Connacht the great Cahal Mor reigned supreme
A King of the people one held in high esteem.
Poor James Clarence Mangan himself he died in poverty
In Ireland's post famine days it is said of T B
A tall oddly dressed figure in his forties of mere skin and bone
He walked the streets of Dublin so sad and alone.
But his Vision of Connacht perhaps of his perfect World an idea
Or an escape for him from the reality
Of the awful existence of which he did know
In the eighteen forties in Dublin such a long time ago.
A poem any poet would have felt proud to write
Full of hope and beauty and so full of light
Yet written by one who must have known of despair
With hunger and want around him everywhere.