.DRUNKEN THADY AND THE BISHOP'S LADY
by Michael Hogan
Chasing the world's evil pleasure".
There is a hell to punish sinners."
Tis true she lived -
Tis true she died -”
Along the date of worldly pleasure!
A beam of light mid cloudy shadows
Flitting along the autumn meadows:
A wave that glistens on the shore
Retires, and is beheld no more:
A blast that stirs the yellow leaves
Of fading woods in autumn eves.”
With weapons ready to destroy
And tho’ a hundred years were passed
He’s sure to have his prey at last,
And when the fated hour is ready
He cares not for a lord or lady,
But lifts his gun and snaps his trigger
And shoots alike the king and beggar.”
Would want a special guard from heaven,
To shield them with a holy wand,
From the mad terrors of her hand."
Her apparitions were not just eerie other-worldly affairs but even in death the Lady packed a powerful punch…
Could knock a man so quickly down
Or deal an active blow so ready
To floor one, as the Bishop's lady".
In every row he fought a round.
He flailed his wife and thumped his brother
And burned the bed about his mother,"
Not surprisingly Thady had been imprisoned for his nocturnal excesses on umpteen occasions. And so on this particular Christmas Eve it was no surprise and Thady and ‘friends’ had become involved in a row while playing cards and drinking…
Except for a row raised on the island
Where Thady -foe to sober thinking -
With comrade lads, sat gaily drinking
A table and a pack of cards
Stood in the midst of four blackguards
Who, with bumper- draught elated
Dashed down their trumps and swore and cheated”
No human form was in the street
The virgin snow lay on the highways
And choked-up alleys lanes and by-ways
The North still poured its frigid store,
The clouds looked black and threatened more."
He gained the centre of the street
And giddy as a summer midge -
Went staggering towards Old Thomond Bridge"
“This night he was in no position
For Scripture, history or tradition,
His thoughts were on the Bishop’s Lady-
The first tall arch was crossed already.”
Her red eyes sparkled through her veil,
Her scarlet cloak-half immaterial
Flew wild around her person aerial”
The billows tossed him like a ball ”
Shall be no watery grave to him.”
Some object like an anchored boat
To this with furious grasp he clung
And from the tide his limbs unslung.”
Grew sober, and got drunk no more!
And in the whole wide parish round
A better Christian was not found!
He loved his God and served his neighbour,
And earned his bread by honest labour.”