The Fisherman's Wife

When the dusky veil of night is drawn
When clouds unfold and flee,
When song birds wake, and a saffron dawn
Steals over a silver sea.

Then the bark that she loves is spreading its wings
To speed on its way again,
And she hears the son that her sailor sings
As she hauls on the anchor chain.

Alone she stands on the sunlit sands
And watches the rising sail,
And a clear call floats to the speeding boats
As she echoes his parting hail.

With anxious eyes she scans the skies
As the boats glide on and on –
Till over the brink of the ocean they sink
And the bark that she loves is gone.

And standing there, a little prayer
Flies after them over the foam,
And she turns away to toil that day
Must bring her to cottage home.

And the wavelets fall on the old sea wall
And beat on the cold grey stones,
Singing the song they have sung so long
In their musical monotones.

And now and again a low sweet strain
Floats up to the cliffs above,
For the eyes are bright and the heart is light
When we work for the one we love.

There’s a glow in the West, and it tells that res
From the toils of the day is nigh,
And the great sun flings forth its golden wings
Ere bidding the world good-bye.

Down the golden ways of the sun’s last rays
He comes to her over the foam,
And hand clasps hand on the dark’ning strand
When the bark that she loves comes home.

Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French, 1980, Helicon Limited, Dublin.


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The 15th Percy French Festival

French Awakenings

19th, 20th, 21st July 2023

At Castlecoote House

Honorary President of the Festival, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Informed Social & Cultural Discussion of Ireland Today.