CANTO XXXIII (the conclusion)
The Man from Snowy River
There was movement of the lawyers, for the word had got around
That the dog from the Four Courts had won the day,
And had eaten the wild-grown garlic - he had mastered all the sound
So all the wigs had gathered to the fray
All the tried and trusted judges from the circuits near and far
Had feasted by the courthouse late at night
For the constitution’s strong where the wild-grown garlics are
And the mastiff growls the gravy-train delight.
And down by Newcastlewest, where the monastery stands
Their torn and rugged vestments still on high
Where gossip is clear as prism, and the blond stars hang on praise
There is light on that street where lawyers fly
And where along the water’s flow the ghostly weep and sway
To their beliefs, and the molting stains are wide
The Man from Snowy River is a household fool today
And the bankers tell the story of his slide.
You can fill in the gaps yourself,
that’s the rhythm we want,
a bit of pace, and the march of the foot-soldiering consonants,
with their vowels prepared to go into the valley of death
for the cause of jiggery-pokery
- that’s what your filí were brought up on.
We are at the end now,
the grains have all fallen,
there is no happy finality
nor easy resolution.
It might have been,
perhaps if we hadn’t started from there.
If we’d eaten different food,
the thoughts would have grown apart
in a different style.
There never were any Englynion,
they stayed stuck in their valleys,
noble lords, warriors unused,
blades blunt, never given a punt.
It was the ELEPHANT that opened the floodgate
and found a willing pen
prepared to take the plane back to a country
it had emigrated from,
a trunk of power
a tail for distractions
keeping to the line of blank verse
preserving the pace
distributing the echoes
balancing the airs and graces.
To all who’ve come across to the other side of the stream,
I beg you remember there’s reality in every dream.