Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Our Dearest Papa - Margaret O'Brien

The following poem was written to commemorate the life and exploits of my great-great grandfather, Daniel Duggan. The poem was written by his granddaughter, Margaret O’Brien, who wrote and published many poems.

To Our Dearest Papa

I’ll tell you of a gallant man
Whose time was never wasted
Our gracious, cheerful, lively, Dan
Who left no sport untasted

His forge was known the country o’er
All clients took a seat
For if they left the smithy’s door
Their horse was at the meet

If rodeo was then the mode
He’d ride without a spill
For I have heard he even rode
A pig at Shandy Hill

For like the great John Peel, his heart
Was on the hunting grounds
He’d "bone" a horse and take a part
In chasing with the hounds

He plied his gaff in sweet Clonmeen
Beside the old Shannow
With thrilling heart he poached the stream
When the seasons would allow

Like Shakespeare with Sir Thomas
Were Papa’s escapades
Tho ‘twas Grehan that gave promise
Of thwarting all his ways

The football team in Quartertown
While captained by young Dan
Was never known to be "let down"
But a course of glory ran

Even in the field of cricket
He took a part, what’s more
‘twas he who knocked the wicket
When they made the winning score

His creative genius was made like
To Stevenson’s renown
He made a "tallywagtail" byke
The pride of all the town

His feats and exploits were well known
Through Mallow and Glountaune
So popular, the people’s own
Was Donal O’Duggan

With Tadg he shot in Colthurst’s wood
Which was a strict preserve
Three keepers pinned him where he stood
‘twas then he showed his nerve

With well feigned ease he bided time
Suspicions to allay
Then with a spring - a jump sublime
He broke free - and away

Through the bracken like a flash
O’er ditches like the wind
Taking hedges at a dash
His captors far behind

And Tadg was off another way
His heart as light as air
His mind fixed on another day
Of sport in Colthurst’s lair

So here’s to Dan, all life’s his fort
Who’se never known a fear
Our dearly loved, and rare old sport
Our hearty pioneer

Since February he’s gone to rest
And oh, we miss him sure
But he’s at peace and this is best,
With God forever more

In Castlemagner, quiet he lies
Mid scenes of youth and joy
Where oftimes under sunny skies
He wandered when a boy

The sad Blackwater gliding past
A mournful dirge must wail
To Ruskeen Bridge it’s song is cast
In passing through the vale

The little graveyard on the hill
Which now so homely seems
So peaceful, so quiet and still
Just everlasting dream

His happiness we’ll grudge him not
For he is with his own
Waiting in that sheltered spot
To guide us to God’s throne

The poem was originally sent to my grandfather in 1930. The attached post script states that Daniel Duggan and his father-in-law Con Buckley both built Ruskeen Bridge, which could be seen from Daniel’s grave. There are several things I just don't understand within the poem's lines. I have no idea what a Tallywagtail bike is, for instance. Still, it is very cool to have a published poem memorializing the exploits of a Daley ancestor, expecially once as interesting as Daniel Duggan.

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