Smothered in autumn now
Its shrunken walls still fighting off the fields
As youngsters we used to sack potatoes there
On damp days under the tinder dry thatch
Hunkered and cramped
As we rummaged among the gaunt growths
For pinks and banners
And the odd golden wonder
Rubbing shoulders with the riff raff
And where’tis said
Forbidden fruit once flourished
And angels strayed in from the straight and narrow
We slung poreens through the rough door
Without as much as a thought for the ghost
That stood on the step
Struggling with September
What ghost stands there now?
My sack is full, youth
A crumpled pile in the corner
The thatch has given way
To bramble, sprig and sky
And by the rough door wild potatoes pose
For puzzled passers by
So what ghost stands there now?
What spirit lurks
In this skipful of briars by the roadside
Above is a poem that I wrote about the famous cottage belonging to Stella ( Esther ) Johnson
A frequent visitor to the cottage Dean Jonathon Swift was a friend of Miss Johnson
After an unsuccessful attempt to restore the cottage in the 1960s it was then allowed to become a ruin.
Stella lived there around 1710 only vacating it when she bought a larger house in the nearby town of Trim
I Include these notes and poem in response to a request from Trim Paddy Byrne.
The poem itself was a prize winner in The Allingham Arts competition
Further information on Sella's Cottage may be found in a book of that name which i wrote some years ago and is now available in the libraries