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Passions in Poetry

Coach the Piper ( St. Patrick's Day )

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Rex Allen McCoy
Member Elite
since 01-30-2000
Posts 2636
Sippin a Timmy's in London


0 posted 03-10-2001 10:59 PM       View Profile for Rex Allen McCoy   Email Rex Allen McCoy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Rex Allen McCoy's Home Page   View IP for Rex Allen McCoy

I've always loved this poem ... but I've never found who the author was


Coach the Piper
~~~


One winters day long long ago
when I was a little fellow
A piper wandered to our door
gray headed blind and yellow
And oh how glad was my young heart
though earth and sky looked dreary
To see the stranger and his dog
poor "Pinch" and Coach O'Leary
~
And when he stowed away his "bag"
cross-barred with green and yellow
I thought and said "In Ireland's ground
there's not so fine a fellow"
And Fineen and Shane Machree
and Eily Kate and Mary
Rushed in with panting haste to "see"
and "welcome" Coach O'Leary
~
Oh! god be with those happy times
Oh! god be with my childhood
When I bare headed roamed all day
bird nesting in the wildwood
I'll not forget those sunny hours
how ever years may vary
I'll not forget my early friends
Nor honest Coach O'Leary
~
Poor Coach and "Pinch" slept well that night
and in the morning early
He called me up to hear him play
"The wind that shakes the barley"
And then he stroked my flaxen hair
and cried "God mark my Deary"
And how I wept when he said "fairwell
and think of Coach O'Leary"
~
The seasons came and went and still
old Coach was not forgotten
Although I thought him "dead and gone"
and in the cold clay rotten
And often when I walked and danced
with Eily Kate and Mary
We spoke of childhood's rosy hours
and prayed for Coach O'Leary
~
All twenty summers had gone past
and Junes red sun was shining
When I a man sat by my door
of twenty sad things thinking
A little dog came up the way
his gait was slow and weary
And at his tail a lame man limped
'Twas "Pinch" and Coach O'Leary
~
Old Coach! but ah! how woe-begone
his form is bowed and bending
His fleshless hands are stiff and wan
aye time is ever blending
the colors on his thread bare "bag"
and "pinch" is twice as hairy
And "thin spare" as when first I saw
himself and Coach O'Leary
~
"God blessing here" the wanderer cried
far far be Hell's black viper
Does  anybody here abouts
remember Coach the Piper
With swelling heart I grasped his hand
the old man murmured "Deary"
Are you the silky headed child
that loved poor Coach O'Leary
~
"Yes yes" I said, the wanderer wept
as if his heart was breaking
"And where a'vhic machree" he sobbed
is all the merry making
I found here twenty years ago
"My tale" I sighed "might weary"
Enough to say there's non but me
to welcome Coach O'Leary
~
"No no no" the old man cried
and wrung his hands in sorrow
"Pray lead me in Arther Machree
and I'll go home tomorrow
My peace is made I'll calmly leave
this world so cold and dreary
And you shall keep my Pipes and Dog
and pray for Coach O'Leary"
~
With "Pinch" I watched his bed that night
next day his wish was granted
He died and Father James was brought
and the Requiem Mass was chanted
The neighbors came we dug his grave
near Eily Kate and Mary
And there he sleeps his last long sleep
God rest you Coach O'Leary
~~~

author unknown

© Copyright 2001 Rex Allen McCoy - All Rights Reserved
Joyce Johnson
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Member Patricius
since 03-10-2001
Posts 10059
Washington State


1 posted 03-10-2001 11:03 PM       View Profile for Joyce Johnson   Email Joyce Johnson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Joyce Johnson

How could the author of such a wonderful poem be forgotten, but the poem is here in its entirety? Thank you
Trillium
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Member Patricius
since 03-09-2001
Posts 12129
Idaho, USA


2 posted 03-10-2001 11:37 PM       View Profile for Trillium   Email Trillium   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trillium

I can understand why you like this poem so much. It's wonderful! Thanks for posting it so we could all enjoy it!

Betty Lou Hebert
Rex Allen McCoy
Member Elite
since 01-30-2000
Posts 2636
Sippin a Timmy's in London


3 posted 03-17-2001 12:19 AM       View Profile for Rex Allen McCoy   Email Rex Allen McCoy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Rex Allen McCoy's Home Page   View IP for Rex Allen McCoy

Joyce and Betty ... Ireland gave birth to a multitude of poets ... near the turn of the last century ... many of which are now forgotten ... sad
Thanks for reading
bad little dog
Junior Member
since 07-08-2000
Posts 40
city pound


4 posted 03-17-2001 12:21 AM       View Profile for bad little dog   Email bad little dog   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bad little dog

irishpappy
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since 11-08-2005
Posts 1


5 posted 11-08-2005 08:20 AM       View Profile for irishpappy   Email irishpappy   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for irishpappy

The poem's author is John Keegan 1809-1849, a victim of the Famine before he could publish his collected poems. He was born in Killeany, Co. Laois; he worked as hedge-school teacher and later at Shanahoe Nat. School; was a contrib\utor to Leinster Express, 1837, the Dublin University Magazine, Nation, Irish National Magazine. The poem was originally namesd "Caoch, the Piper", but quickly became popular as "aoch O'Leary" because of the repeats in the stanzas.
skyshine
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since 02-07-2002
Posts 3337
Beneath the northern stars


6 posted 03-18-2006 01:52 AM       View Profile for skyshine   Email skyshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit skyshine's Home Page   View IP for skyshine

It's always nice to find a poem written by a "classic" author on these pages. Thank you to Rex for sharing the poem (now presumably in the public domain??) and to Irishpappy for the information about the author. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

~sky

I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying....
~Tim McGraw

JBOC
New Member
since 11-15-2006
Posts 1


7 posted 11-15-2006 08:16 PM       View Profile for JBOC   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for JBOC

HI , Caoch the piper was written by John Keegan 1809 -1849  -died of cholera
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