The Village of My Youth
Author: Seamus Kavanagh

Dublin Core


The Village of My Youth
Author: Seamus Kavanagh


Nestling in the Wicklow hills,
Where granite meets the sky,
Is the village of my childhood,
Where I grew up as a boy.
In my mind I still can see it,
The way it used to be,
The landmarks and the people,
That meant the world to me.
I still can hear the bell on Sunday
Calling on the morning air,
An invitation to the village,
To join the Lord in prayer.
Across the hillsides, bogs, and fields,
Masspaths wound their way,
Through 'Knoochra, Kyle, and Shielstown
Rathnagrew and Knocknaskeagh.
The Mass was prayed in Latin,
But was all Greek to me,
And I envied those who "stayed the pace"
With a cap beneath one knee!
When the Mass it was over,
When we said the last Amen,
We prayed beside the headstones,
Of family and friend.
The blacksmith was our hero,
The Cuchulainn of the land,
For he could shoe a horse,
With the touch of a surgeon's hand.
With one hand he swung a sledge
That we failed to lift with two,
Yet each of us knew every step,
In the making of a shoe.
The creaking pumps coughed water,
The day's first and final chore,
And a snake like trail of splashes,
Wound their way was to our front door
We had no Dunnes or Tesco
Telling us how to save,
But to us the village shop,
Was like Aladdin's cave!
There were "bullseyes" and " peggy's leg"
Sweets in every shape of jar,
But the "finances" of our youth,
Could only "rise" to a penny bar
Milk of Magnesia, Syrup of Figs,
Sure I can taste them still!
While Mrs Cullen's powder,
Was a cure for every ill.
There were razor blades, carbolic soap,
Loose tea and paraffin,
And tea chests full of mash
For turkey ,pig , and hen.
You could buy lbs of "farmer's butter"
Get your rashers cut to size,
Cholesterol hadn't been invented,
So the village "lived " on fries!
The pubs they were a mystery,
As we tried to figure out,
What caused the metamorphosis,
Between the going in and coming out!
The laurel hedge at "Miley's"
With fondness I recall
There dates were made , games replayed
While sitting on the wall.
When Winter spread its mantle,
And the nights were cold and stark,
The tilley lamps on wooden poles
Fought their battles with the dark.
On Sunday nights of childhood,
When in bed without a care,
From the hall we heard the music,
As it tip toed through the air.
Now the village of my childhood,
Fills a page in history,
But sometimes when I close my eyes
It's there just like it used to be.


Seamus fondly remembers the village where he grew as well as practices from a lost way of life.



“The Village of My Youth Author: Seamus Kavanagh,” From Carlow Streams, accessed July 16, 2024,