A Visit to Cork by Edward Walsh

Ahh... so it turned out not to be titled The House by the River Lee as my mother described to me and although she said it was written by an ancestor of mine, I still haven't a clue about that. But after many years of searching pre-google time and present day wiki etc. I finally found the poem and it is written by Edward Walsh and was inscribed to my Great Grandfather Robert P. C. Walsh.
Edward died in 1850, hence the poem precedes that date. Robert Patrick Clery Walsh hailed from Ballinacourty, Glenroe and moved to Cork as an adult, married Mary Ambrose, and much later returned as a widower to live in Ballinacourty House with his brother Thomas Clery Walsh. While living in Cork he resided at 34 Ebenezer Terrace, Sunday's Well....maybe it was there that Edward visited with Robert...

"Lays and legends of Thomond; with historical and traditional notes"



'Twas a bright day of sunny-linked hours, 

And the young fruit was green on the tree, 
When I wandered from Shannon's wild bowers 

To thy home by the beautiful Lee ! 
As Nature's child welcomes the May, 

So warm was thy welcome for me, 
In thy glad little mansion, so gay, 

By the beautiful, clear-flowing Lee ! 

The pleasure that friendship imparts 

So seldom from others I drew, 
That I shrank from their cold, fireless hearts, 

Like a leaf in the blight-laden dew ; 
A genial communion of soul, 

I felt not with any but thee, 
So unchill'd by restraint or control, 

In thy home by the beautiful Lee ! 


Away with dull classical arts, 

In which nought but mere polish can shine 
But, oh ! God ! for a world of hearts, 

And social, kind natures, like thine ! 
Then here's to the noble-soul'd few — 

The lore-loving, generous and free, 
Who would make a Bard happy, like you, 

In your home by the beautiful Lee ! 

I mark'd the calm light thy thoughts gave 

To thy brow, as we two knelt and pray'd 
On the sacred sun -hallow' d grave 

Where the Bard* of the Shannon is laid ! 
I. pluck' d a few leaves o'er his breast, 

More dear than primroses to me, 
For I envied the place of his rest, 

By the beautiful, bright-winding Lee . 

In his life-time his soul's loving spring 

The cold world chill'd in its birth, 
And his fancy's bright star-ranging wing 

Was chain'd in the dust of the earth ; 
When doom'd in a garret to pine, 

How glad would his gentle heart be 
To meet a true spirit, like thine, 

By the beautiful, bright flowing Lee ! 

The blast of the desert will spare 

The weeds while it strikes the flowers dead, 
Thus fools are regarded, with care, 

Whilst prophets are pining for bread — 
Ah ! such, noble Bard ! was thy lot, 

While folly was pamper'd round thee, 
You thought, toil'd, and sung on, forgot, 

Far, far from, the Shannon and Lee ! 

To the Botanic Gardens we stray'd, 

To the grave of the " Minstrel Man /"+ 
Who to maidens and matrons play'd, 

By the Nore, Suir, Barrow, and Bann — 
As his epitaph-record I read, 

I offer' d his memory a tear ; 
"Oh, blest be the kind bands !" I said, 

That erected this monument here !" 

The nettles and weeds that had grown 

O'er the sleep of the song-honour'd dead, 
We tore up, around the gray stone, 

And cast them away from his bed — 

* Gerald Griffin is buried in the North Cemetery at Cork. 

t Edward Walsh, the gifted author of many original and beautiful com- 
positions, breathing the native sweetness of true, harmonious Irish poetry, 
His correct knowledge of the ancient Gaelic enabled him to translate a large 
number of Irish poems into English, without losing any of the freshness, 
viracity, and point of the mother-tongue. 


Tho' his heart in Life's battle was stung, 
Yet few weeds in his nature had he, 

While his bruised spirit gushed into song, 
By the beautiful, bright-flowing Lee ! 

Dear Bard of the soul-kindling flame— 

My brother in poesy and love — 
Thou art hymning a God-praising theme, 

In the angel-orchestra above ! 
Farewell to thy bough-shadow'd tomb ! 

Where the soft winds sing requiems o'er thee- 
Farewell to my friend and his home, 

By the beautiful, bright-flowing Lee !