Monday 16 March 2015

The Lay of Oliver Gogarty

The Liffey, by Daniel O'Neill

Come all ye bould Free Staters now and listen to my lay
And pay a close attention please to what I've got to say,
For 'tis the tale of a winter's night in last December drear
When Oliver St John Gogarty swam down the Salmon Weir.

As Oliver St John Gogarty one night sat in his home
A-writin' of prescriptions or composin' of a poem
Up rolled a gorgeous Rolls-Royce car and out a lady jumped
And at Oliver St John Gogarty's hall-door she loudly thumped.

'O! Oliver St John Gogarty', said she, 'Now please come quick
For in a house some miles away a man lies mighty sick.'
Yet Oliver St John Gogarty to her made no reply,
But with a dextrous facial twist he gently closed one eye.

'O! Oliver St John Gogarty, come let yourself be led.'
Cried a couple of maskéd ruffians puttin' guns up to his head.
'I'm with you, boys,' cried he, 'but first, give me my big fur coat
And also let me have a scarf - my special care's the throat.'

They shoved him in the Rolls-Royce car and swiftly sped away,
What route they followed Oliver St John Gogarty can't say,
But they reached a house at Island Bridge and locked him in a room,
And said, 'Oliver St John Gogarty, prepare to meet your doom.'

Said he, 'Give me some minutes first to settle my affairs,
And let me have some moments' grace to say my last night's prayers.'
To this appeal his brutal guard was unable to say nay,
He was so amazed that Oliver St John Gogarty could pray.

Said Oliver St John Gogarty, 'My coat I beg you hold.'
The half-bewildered scoundrel then did as he was told.
Before he twigged what game was up, the coat was round his head
And Oliver St John Gogarty into the night had fled.

The rain came down like bullets, and the bullets fell like rain,
As Oliver St John Gogarty the river bank did gain,
He plunged into the ragin' tide and swum with courage bold,
Like brave Horatius long ago in the fabled days of old.

Then landin' he proceeded through the famous Phaynix Park,
The night was bitter cold and what was worse, extremely dark,
But Oliver St John Gogarty to this paid no regard,
Till he found himself a target for our gallant Civic Guard.

Cried Oliver St John Gogarty, 'A Senator am I,
The rebels I've tricked, the Liffey I've swum, and sorra the word's a lie.'
As they clad and fed that hero bold, said the sergeant with a wink,
'Faith, then, Oliver St John Gogarty, ye've too much bounce to sink.'


Lifted from the site of poems about famous names.

More poetry here.

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