The Rock Remains

For Francis and Ellie

They came and went, this trysting couple
Seeking shelter from both wind and rain
And from the prying eyes of the prurient;
As they held hands with long lingering looks.
I did not feel put upon or burdened by them
They disturbed not my rest nor calm repose;
I was rather glad of their occasional company
For we all came from the same good earth.
I was saddened by their sudden leaving of me
Her to a new beau, him to fight far from here
Such is the inconstancy of love and life;
Whilst I stayed, same as ever, silent and true.
I grieved for their passing, one after the other
In time unseemly, for those long-lived as I;
If I had water in my veins, then I would’ve wept
Until my tears cleft my whole self in two pieces.
Still I remain, wearing their precious memories
On my hard skin, amongst the bloom of lichen;
He, of the earth, a poet of land, flora and fauna
She, of the night sky, shining as a brilliant star.

In the garden of Francis Ledwidge’s family cottage, there lies a great stone brought down from the Hill of Slane; it was known to figure heavily as a backdrop to the wooing of his first love, Ellie Vaughey, by Francis.

John Llewellyn James


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