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A Manxman

( Die I Januarii. )

Kalendis, keeper of the Years, reveals his opening page of ‘Sixteen, Sixty-three, A.D.’

And stilly neath her white dalmatic Mannin waits!

To-morrows Cortege ~ cloudbank’s draped in sombre black ~

Move o’er the weeping glens from Kimmeragh to ‘verge on Burroo~Ned.

Within their mausoleum of pristine snow

Reposing Cushags, germinant ,beget their newer kind.

Imprisoned in the dungeon of the fortress by the claddagh wall

A Patriot Contemplates his coming tryst within

The final Deemster’s Court at manhood’s end.

And somewhereb by the Seraphim The Donor of Terrestrial Light

His Tenebrae decrees

And darkness, all obedient, casts her mantle o’er the Isle.

Unseen upon the  ramparts by the barbican

Dooinney oie, the ancient harbinger of Doom,

His vigil consummates.

(Die II Januarii. ) 

An early dawn concedes her grudging modicum of grey.

Emergeth from the Rushen keep in cavalcade

A Patriot, hemmed by Counsellors and Militiamen

To march on Hango Hill.

The Silver Burn slows down her running tides

In homage to the Champion’s crowning show

And overhead a flight of gulls their raucid protests loose.

Mannanin, impotent, before her chilloch weeps

And wallads rising from their sodden dykes at Arragon Mooar

Unleash invective on the alien brows.

A musket- volley violates the morning’s brittle air………

And Swarthy William entereth into History.

A Lhondoo squats upon the gateway of the Dead at Kirk Malew

His lone bardoon to tell

Ere shews the pall-men with their warrior slain.

And coming down the ages on, the wings of everlasting sound

An ancient Spirit breathes anew:-

“I Am The Resurrection And The Life”……..

‘Tis eventide.

Far off the coast Mannanin-beg inciteth  fury mid the tides

And hurls his raging breakers ‘gainst the rugged Scarlett Stack.

A  tribe of Laochtyn on the slopes of Irrey lhaa

release a tremolous dirgeAs Kieran boughs interpret ‘con sordina’ latent winds

In requiem for the parted uachtarain.

A solemn compline steals from Rushen’s  ghostly, choirs

Across the evening fields of Billown Mooar.

Alert Bugganes at Cronk Sumark  a spectral Wake decree.

By Slieu Freoghane the Shen- ven’s votive lights appear

Against the velvet reredos of night

In vigil til the Newer Dawn………


Dachonna, Germon, Brendan, Maughold, Conchan, Bride and Lua

Await their fellow Lord of Man.



And now the hours of dark their measured spans have told;

Matuta, Godess of the Dawn, her lanthorn shews to guide anew

A ghostly cortege from the Cronk-ny-Merrieu

Towards the Kiemach’s Rhullick neath

The keening Trammons at Malew.

Mannannan, Deemster of the Tides, his orisons unloose

Upon the sea winds west of Spanish Head ~

Her mem’ries with the dead. 

Before the Patriot’s tomb this latter day

And chap’roned by Lhiannan-shee;

Asperg’ed with the drifting rains ~ a little Nations tears ~

From somewhere ‘cross the Sheading of Marown;

I unproud successor of his foes,

And martial-clad as they,

Saluteth Illiam Dhône.


Ivan S. P. Thornton