The Manchester Review
Thomas McCarthy
Four Poems
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Who should have known better, being the son
Of a Latin adverb, spent his every waking hour
In forms of attack upon O’Connell and Moore:
His hatred of them went beyond the bounds of reason
Into the realm of translating both. Clongownians
And those schooled by Jesuit Royalists at St. Acheul
Were perplexed by his satires, but never asked why
A priest of such learning gave his life to small rhymes –

All a matter, surely, of fame; jealousy and its attendant despair:
How we are always sure that others suffer less for the palm
Than we have suffered. Fluent in French and Latin,
Demented with difficult rhymes, he heard St. Peters’
Bells as Shandon chimes: such Classical bells as make plain
That each poet has to run his very own marathon.