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Poetry Magnum Opus

The Diplomatic Mission of Conor MacArt


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An Chuairt Taidhleoireachta na Conchubair mac Airt

Aisteach go raibh sí agus contúirteacha,

bean le fear éigin eile.




I have a strong dislike for boats and the sea,

bare planks between your soul and perdition,

with wind and the rain adding to the sorrow.


Hours and hours we spent on the ocean

with the cattle moaning in childlike fear below,

and myself moaning likewise above them


before we came to Bristol, a town of the English,

a marvellous great city of well-dressed people

very happy and pleased with themselves.


We had horses to hire for the road to London

on the further side of the kingdom; we stayed

at villainous flea-ridden inns along that weary road.


London, my dear, makes Dublin look like a village

with all its tall houses pushed together, leaning

on one another, its sights and sounds and smells.


We came to the court, at a place called Hampton,

a sturdy stone palace by the side of the river,

and there the Queen came out to meet us.


She is a frail looking woman of middle years,

very white in the face and enormously prepared

in her dress and visage to meet the day.


Very grand did she look but quite kind withal

as her courtiers clucked and fussed around her.

We were asked to leave our swords and axes behind.


The discussion was long and polite but wearisome.

These people do not understand us; I think we

need to prepare ourselves for the coming war.

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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A strong sense of the 'might is right' history between Ireland and England prevails in your eloquence. Queen Elizabeth 1st whose father Henry the 8th separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, still has much to answer for. My Irish friends take a delight to this day in relating that the Church of England was founded on the balls of Henry the 8th... :icon_sunny:

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Teeming with the sentiments that abound when negotiations break down, especially the last verse. What's next? Perhaps the situation is ripe for a DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE, replete with grievances ...


Tony ;)


... He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such disolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.


He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:


For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.


He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions ...



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Nice one, Tony! There is a definite parallel between the grievances expressed by American colonial leaders of the 18th century and those of Irish clan chieftains of the 16th century. We were dealing with the will to power of the same imperial government, the Irish at its outset and the Americans in its more developed form. The poem is fictional but based on an actual historical precedent, the visit of Shane O'Neill to the court of Queen Elizabeth I in 1562. There was an even more colourful and notorious visit later in Elizabeth's reign by the so-called pirate queen Granuaile.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Some nice lines in this.

Enjoyed the read!

Being of Irish ancestry, I am enjoying your historical (if fictional) Irish thread. Don't stop now.



from the black desert

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