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athgarvan

ATHGARVAN

Is anyone familiar with a poet called John Stewart, an English squire, who wrote a number of love songs published in London in 1810. One of them he called 'ATHGARVAN' which is a little village on the Curragh of Kildare in which I was born.

I came upon his work by chance recently and was taken by this particular poem which is really about a girl he was smitten by called Louisa from Athgarvan. It is a longish poem but I quote a verse or two:

ATHGARVAN

"By thy soft shaded glens and thy murmuring fountains,

With hope, my companion, how oft have I strayed,

While lightly recumbent upon thy green mountains

The sunbeams at eve on the foliage have played.

And thy bowers I have wound, when the tints of the morning

Upon the white tents in the distance would glance;

As gay in the orient, their plumage adorning,

I marked the bright files of the warriors advance.


How dear, O Athgarvan! to me were thy echoes

That rung, sweetly wild, to the bugle's loud horn;

The trumpet's shrill call that at dawn would awake us;

The buds that just peeped from the dew-spangled thorn;

But dearer, far dearer, my bosom could cherish

The friend I there prized for the wealth of her soul;

Whose bliss to ensure, with delight I could perish;

Whose smile could inspire me tho' chilled at the pole".

NOTE:

Athgarvan is a small village on the Curragh Plains in Co. Kildare. It was the HQ of the British Army in Ireland during the 18th and19th century, hence the references to "white tents", "their plumage adorning" , "the warriors advance", "the bugles' loud horn", and "the trumpets' shrill call.

The Curragh is now, of course, the HQ of the Army of the Republic.

Comments

How lovely. Not come across him before.
I love that you took your name from the place of your birth. What a nice tribute to a beautiful area of Ireland.

- Erulisse (one L)
Thank you.