Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Kerry Christmas Carol -- Sigerson Clifford

Christmas Day guest poem sent in by "Frank O'Shea"
(Poem #970) The Kerry Christmas Carol
 Brush the floor and clean the hearth,
 And set the fire to keep,
 For they might visit us tonight
 When all the world's asleep.

 Don't blow the tall white candle out
 But leave it burning bright,
 So that they'll know they're welcome here
 This holy Christmas night.

 Leave out the bread and meat for them,
 And sweet milk for the Child,
 And they will bless the fire, that baked
 And, too, the hands that toiled.

 For Joseph will be travel-tired,
 And Mary pale and wan,
 And they can sleep a little while
 Before they journey on.

 They will be weary of the roads,
 And rest will comfort them,
 For it must be many a lonely mile
 From here to Bethlehem.

 O long the road they have to go,
 The bad mile with the good,
 Till the journey ends on Calvary
 Beneath a cross of wood.

 Leave the door upon the latch,
 And set the fire to keep,
 And pray they'll rest with us tonight
 When all the world's asleep.
-- Sigerson Clifford
Sigerson Clifford (1913 - 1984)

Grew up in Cahirciveen on the Ring of Kerry and attended the Christian
Brothers school in that town. Worked most of his life in Dublin, the first
generation of Irish civil servants after independence.

He wrote a number of plays, some of which were produced in the Abbey
Theatre and was also prominent in the early days of Irish radio.

His verse is a mixture of the wistful and the gay, recreating a time of
childhood innocence and celebrating his native Kerry. He writes often about
the tinkers, the travelling people who in his young days were an accepted
and usually welcomed feature of rural life. Now it has become politically
correct to call them travellers and people fight to keep them out of their
neighbourhood. His book of verse Ballads of a Bogman from which today's
poem is taken, was first released in 1955 and has been in print since.

The poem is an evocation of an old Irish custom in which each household
would leave a lighted candle in their window on Christmas night. There was
a pious belief that Joseph and Mary and the Child still wandered the roads
of the world, looking for a place to rest from the persecution of Herod.
That they should show a preference for the roads of rural Ireland was
accepted as a given.

Frank O'Shea

47 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Dr Malpani MD said...

It's such a pleasure to come across this wonderful service you offer !

Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
Bombay 400 005. India
Tel:, 22151066, 2218 3270
FAX ( IndiaOur US FAX isHelping couples build families !
PS Read our book, How to Have a Baby - A Guide for the Infertile Couple, online at !

Tim Buckley said...

I am in Antarctica - a long time fan of Sigerson Clifford poetry,
particularly his "Tinker" poems
I would dearly love to get the words to some of them and the Boys of Barr
na Sraidhe
I obviously do not have access to shops/mail down here.
Can you please help


Tim Buckley (originally from Ireland)

Kath2949 said...

Not sure how long this poem has been posted but I find it beautiful

geordy austin said...

Tim Buckely return my test email.Slan said...

This poem is well-written and it has the capacity to move every persons who will read it.

Just continue writing and we'll support you every step of the way.

coach outlet said...

Here we play with all sorts of influences - coach factory outlet of desired shapes tiffany jewelry to prioritize the tiffany and co manner in which I go about finding what I need," the coach factory outlet tells Ecouterre.More than 1,000 runners began the race.Not just in true religion jeans, but also in making sure you stay happy until the cheap jerseys rain every day. Hey, $350 is way less than those coach outlet. For those unfamiliar, the coach factory online (only the first coach factory count toward the rankings this year) in coach outlet online carry all their own alexander wang shoes for a daily water ration and michael kors outlet tent to sleep under;The coach factory outlet is yours, but coach factory outlet is to just be yourself and be coach outlet store online.The sleek ensemble came on show through sac burberry. Choose from brands like Bernardo, michael kors outlet and others.which saw everything he could to shake off that 'alexander wang bags' image, just got the treatment from the michael kors himself, marc by marc jacobs outlet department. the company was coach factory outlet online that it can really tell that you're turned on, so michael kors should definitely be saved for the bedroom.which has seen him take on projects from labels like michael kors outlet online, to things like designing boats.

Unknown said...

your blog is good and nice post. Eye Care Centre | SEO AND SMO SERVICES | I learn something more challenging on distinct blogs everyday.

thẩm mỹ viện said...

Giữa mùa đông đang ngày càng lạnh khiến bạn đau đầu, mỏi mắt tìm kiếm câu trả lời cho nhấn mí mắt giá bao nhiêu.

Với ưu điểm lợi thế công nghệ được chuyển giao 100% từ Hàn Quốc, bấm mí hàn quốc sẽ khiến cho bạn hoàn toàn hài long với diện mạo mới. Đến với Green Tara, bạn sẽ không phải lo lắng về nhấn mí được bao lâu hay nhấn mí mắt hàn quốc có đau không

Hãy đến Thẩm mỹ viện Green Tara để trải nghiệm dịch vụ và được tư vấn tận tâm nhất. Với đội ngũ y bác sĩ nhiều năm kinh nghiệm Green Tara sẽ mang đến cho bạn đôi mí mắt đẹp và hoàn toàn tự nhiên nhờ bấm mí hàn quốc

Không chỉ thế, Green Tara sẽ giúp bạn giải đáp mọi thắc mắc liên quan đến bấm mắt hai mí hàn quốc.

Anonymous said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Tunnelbear said...

TunnelbearVsVpn For Better Speed and security

Anonymous said...

I do not know Sigerson Clifford is, but he is NOT the writer of this piece of work. It was written by Celia Thaxter from a collection entitled Celia Thaxter in her Garden. She lived in New Hampshire from 1835-1894, writing this poem in 1892. A full decade BEFORE Clifford was born.

Angel Claudia said...

We are the best online Academic Writing Assistance around, and you will not have to worry about submitting an assignment that has been written in the wrong context.

meldaresearch said...

One should know which company has the best writers whose essay is free from grammatical errors. Grammatical errors reduce the quality of a custom paper especially those who want to how to write a nursing research paper and those seeking for custom assignment services.

help with my assignment said...

Your blogs are amazing. Keep sharing. I love them Are you also searching for help with my assignment? we are the best solution for you. We are best known for delivering the best urgent assignment help.

dissertation writing help said...

I love it here. Keep sharing your good vibes. I love them Are you also searching for dissertation writing help? we are the best solution for you. We are best known for delivering cheap assignments to students without having to break the bank

Post a Comment