Week 200: Ardglass Town, by Richard Rowley

The anonymity of great cities naturally inspires poems of exile, and London has produced its fair share of them – one thinks of Housman’s desolate lines ‘Here I lie down in London/And turn to rest alone’, and Patrick Kavanagh, exiled in Ealing Broadway, naming the pieces of a harness for comfort in ‘Kerr’s Ass’. Here is another of them, a simple but effective lament by the Irish poet Richard Rowley (1877-1947); Richard Rowley was actually a penname of Richard Valentine Williams.

A loaning is a lane, or in particular an open space for passage between fields.

Ardglass Town

The sun is hid in heaven,
The fog floats thick and brown,
I walk the streets of London,
And think of Ardglass town.

About the point of Fennick,
The snowy breakers roll,
And green they shine in patterned squares,
The fields above Ardtole.

Oh, there by many a loaning,
Past farms that I could name
Thro’ Sheeplands to Gun Island,
The whins are all aflame.

And my heart bleeds within me
To think of times I had,
Walking with my sweetheart
The green road to Ringfad.

Richard Rowley

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