West Of Fanny O'Dea's

You’ll not find the name in geography books,
It isn’t marked on the map,
Nor mentioned in atlas or history,
Yet you’ve heard of the place mayhap.
The fairies lurk in the boreens there,
And the scent of the black-thorn haunts the air
Where Atlantic batters the coast of Clare
“West of Fanny O”Dea’s”

Now the old folk tell, in their cheerful chat
By the kitchen fire’s bright glow,
Of hurling matches, or dance or fair,
Of happenings of long ago.
How the heftiest fighters came from there,
Women and men who could do and dare,
From the very heart of the heart of Clare,
West of Fanny O’Dea’s.

From “West o’ Fanny’s” the folk went forth,
To the uttermost parts of the earth;
And the forest fell ‘neath their sturdy stroke,
The cabin rang with mirth.
They builded homes, and the faith was there
Living circles of love and prayer,
Far from the rocky coast of Clare,
West of Fanny O’Dea’s.

As the old folk chat at the kitchen fire
Of doings of long ago,
The young ones smile, with a tender scorn,
At a well-worn phrase they know:
“Now many strange countries and climes there be,
And many queer names o’er land and sea,
in the name of geography
Is ’West of Fanny O’Dea’s?”

by Alice Guerin Crist

Other poems of CRIST (36)

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