• Michael Mullins
  • Michael "The Bard" Mullin
  • "The Bard of Foremass"
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    A Bit of Broken Delph

    Only a bit of broken delph, that lay
    Upon a New York street! his eye it caught,
    It stirred a memory of far away –
    And so the piece of rubbish home he brought.

    Now in his room, he holds it in his hand.
    The room, the city vanish off afar;
    He sees once more his native Irish land –
    To Gaels in exile still the guiding star.

    He sees a cottage, where the firelight glows,
    Upon a dresser with its shining delph;
    His mother’s there, arranging in their rows
    Dishes and plates, each in its proper shelf.

    Beside her stands a curly-headed lad,
    Who questions her about a side-dish old
    “Why does the sight of it make you so sad?
    Why won’t you part with it for lots of gold?”

    “Ah! child, that dish was to my mother dear;
    And for her sake ‘tis very dear to me.
    I brought it, when your father brought me here;
    It wakens many a sad sweet memory.”

    The exile stirs – the tender vision flies;
    In his own flat again he finds himself.
    The city grips him; tears are in his eyes,
    And in his hand a bit of broken delph.

    Michael Mullin ‘The Bard of Foremass’
    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co Tyrone.

    (P.D. thinks Michael wrote this poem from the point of view of his cousin {Pat Mullin – of the bushes} who emigrated to New York or Frank Mullin {California} who also went to New York – a friend but no relation. A grandson of Frank Mullin was a member of the famous ‘Globetrotters’ Basketball team in New York. He was the only white man in the team.