Logical Fallacies Song Cycle Premier

https://bealfestival.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/logical-fallacies.png?w=249&h=119On Friday next, September 26th, the first performance of Logical Fallacies, a 43-minute-long song cycle by David Bremner, using my poetry, will take place in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

The settings are for soprano and viola, and will be performed by Elizabeth Hilliard and Andreea Banciu, viola player with the ConTempo Quartet. The performance will be preceded by a round table discussion with David and myself at 6:45 PM, with the concert at 8:00.

Logical Fallacies is a natural progression from previous collaborations between David and myself under the banner of the Béal Festival.


The work is commissioned by Limerick City of Culture 2014.

Friday 26th September, 8 pm (pre-concert talk at 6:45 pm)

Theatre 2, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.

Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano)
Andreea Banciu (viola)

Tickets: €10, €8 (conc.), €5 (UL staff and students)

Ellen Fitzsimon: Irish Woman Poet

Ellen Fitzsimon (1805 – 1883) was born Ellen Bridget O’Connell, the third child and first daughter of the famous Daniel O’Connell. Her poems were published in the Irish Monthly, The Nation and The Dublin Review. She published one collection, Derrynane Abbey in 1832 and other Poems (1863) and a memoir of her father.


MY heart is heavy in my breast — my eyes are full of tears,
My memory is wandering back to long departed years –
To those bright days long, long ago,
When nought I dream’d of sordid care, of worldly woe –
But roved, a gay, light-hearted boy, the woods of Kylinoe.

There, in the spring-time of my life, and spring-time of the year,
I’ve watched the snowdrop start from earth, the first young buds appear;
The sparkling stream o’er pebbles flow,
The modest violet, and the golden primrose blow,
Within thy deep and mossy dells, beloved Kylinoe!

‘Twas there I wooed my Mary Dhuv, and won her for my bride,
Who bore me three fair daughters, and four sons, my age’s pride;
Though cruel fortune was our foe,
And steep’d us to the lips in bitter want and woe,
Yet cling our hearts to those sad days we pass’d near Kylinoe.

At length, by misery bowed to earth, we left our native strand,
And crossed the wide Atlantic to this free and happy land;
Though toils we had to undergo,
Yet soon content and happy peace ’twas ours to know,
And plenty, such as never blessed our hearth near Kylinoe!

And Heaven a blessing has bestow’d more precious far than wealth,
He spared us to each other, full of years, yet strong in health;
Across the threshold when we go,
We see our children’s children round us grow,
Like sapling oaks within thy woods, far distant Kylinoe.

Yet sadness clouds our hearts to think that when we are no more,
Our bones must find a resting-place far, far from Erin’s shore!
For us — no funeral sad and slow –
Within the ancient abbey’s burial ground shall go –
No, we must slumber far from home, far, far from Kylinoe!

Yet, oh! if spirits e’er can leave the appointed place of rest,
Once more will I revisit thee, dear Isle that I love best;
O’er thy green vales will hover slow,
And many a tearful parting blessing will bestow
On all — but most of all on thee, my native Kylinoe.

Frances Browne: Irish Woman Poet

Frances Browne (1816-1879) was born in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal. A childhood case of smallpox left her blind, but she learned to read and write and had a successful career as a poet and novelist. Her best-known prose work was Granny’s Wonderful Chair, and its Tales of Fairy Times, which was much admired and possibly copied by Frances Hodgson Burnett.


Four travellers sat one winter night
At my father’s board so free,
And he asked them why they left their land,
And why they crossed the sea.

One said for bread, and one for gold.
And one for a cause of strife;
And one he came for a lost love’s sake
To lead a stranger’s life.

They dwelt among our hamlets long,
They learned each mountain way;
They shared our sports in the woodlands green.
And by the crags so gray; —

And they were brave by flood and fell,
And they were blithe in hall;
But he that led the stranger’s life
Was blithest of them all.

Some said the grief of his youth had passed,
Some said his love grew cold;
But naught I know if this were so,
For the tale was never told.

His mates they found both home and friends.
Their heads and hearts to rest;
We saw their flocks and fields increase.
But we loved him still the best.

Now he that came to seek for bread
Is lord of my father’s land,
And he that fled so far from strife
Hath a goodly household band; —

And he that sought the gold alone
Hath wedded my sister fair;
And the oaks are green and the pastures wide
By their goodly homestead there.

But when they meet by the winter fire,
Or beneath the bright woodbine;
Their talk is yet of a whelming stream
And a brave life given for mine.

For a grave by our mountain-river side
Grows green this many a year.
Where the flower of the four sleeps evermore.
And I am a stranger here.

Charlotte Brooke: Irish Woman Poet No. 50

Charlotte Brooke (c1740-1793) was born on Cavan, the daughter of a antiquarian and writer, Henry. She was a self-taught Irish scholar and her Reliques of Irish poetry, published in 1789, marked the beginning of the great Anglo-Irish tradition of Translating and adapting Gaelic literature in English. Despite its great influence, she died in poverty.

As a side note, she is the 50th poet to appear in this series.


WHEN oaths confirm a lover’s vow,
He thinks I believe him true: —
Nor oaths, nor lovers heed I now,
For memory dwells on you I

The tender talk, the face like snow
On the dark mountain’s height;
Or the sweet blossom of the floe,
Fair blooming to the fight!

But false as fair, alas, you prove.
Nor aught but fortune prize;
The youth who gain’d my heart’s first love,
From truth — to wealth he flies!

Ah that he could but still deceive,
And I still think him true!
Still fondly, as at first, believe.
And each dear scene renew!

Again, in the sequester’d vale,
Hear love’s sweet accents flow,
And quite forget the tender tale,
That fill’d my heart with woe!

See this dear trifle, — (kept to prove
How I the giver prize;)
More precious to my faithful love,
Than all thy sex’s sighs!

“What tears for thee in secret flow,
Sweet victor of the green! —
For maiden pride would veil my woe.
And seek to weep unseen.

Return ye days to love consign’d,
Fond confidence, and joy!
The crouded fair, where tokens kind
The lover’s cares employ!

Return once more, mine eyes to bless,
Thou flower of Erin’s youth!
Return sweet proofs of tenderness,
And vows of endless truth!

And Hymen at Love’s altar stand,
To sanctify the shrine,
Join the fond heart, and plighted hand.
And make thee firmly mine,

Ere envious ocean snatch thee hence,
And — Oh! — to distance bear
My love ! — my comfort ! — my defence !-
And leave me — to despair !

Yes, — yes, my only love thou art!
Whoe’er it may displease,
I will avow my captive heart,
And speak its maker’s praise!

Ah, wert thou here, to grace my side
With dear, protecting love!
Envy might rage, and spight deride,
And friends in vain reprove!

May pangs unnumber’d pierce the breast
That cruel envy arms,
That joys in constancy distress’d,
And sports with its alarms!

Bright star of love-attracting light!
For thee these terrors sway;
Grief steeps in tears the sleepless night,
And clouds the joyless day!

Ah God! — ah how, when thou art gone,
Shall comfort reach my heart!
Thy dwelling, and thy fate unknown,
Or where thy steps depart!

My father grieving at my choice!
My mother drown’d in woe!
While friends upbraid, and foes rejoice
To see my sorrows flow !

And thou, with all thy manly charms,
From this sad bosom torn!
Thy soothing voice, — thy sheltering arms,
Far — far to distance borne!

Alas! — my dim and sleepless eyes
The clouds of death obscure!
And nature, in exhausted sighs,
No longer can endure!

I can no more! — sad world farewell!
And thou, dear youth! adieu!
Dear, tho’ forsworn ! — yet, cruel! tell
Why falsehood dwells with you?


Frances Sheridan: Irish Woman Poet

Born Frances Chamberlaine in Dublin, the daughter of an Anglican clergyman who forbade here from learning to write, Frances Sheridan (1724-66) wrote her first novel when she was 15, married Thomas Sheridan, a theatre manager, when she was 23 and died in the south of France when only 42. She wrote plays, novels and poetry. One of her five children was the noted poet and playwright, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.


Unaw’d by threats, unmov’d by force,
My steady soul pursues her course.
Collected, calm, resigned ;
Say, you who search with curious eyes
The source whence human actions rise.
Say, whence this turn of mind? —

‘Tis Patience — lenient goddess, hail!
Oh I let thy votary’s vows prevail,
Thy threatened flight to stay;
Long hast thou been a welcome guest.
Long reign*d an inmate in this breast.
And rul’d with gentle sway.

Through all the various turns of fate,
Ordained me in each several state
My wayward lot has known.
What taught me silently to bear,
To curb the sigh, to check the tear,
When sorrow weighed me down? —

Twas Patience — Temperate goddess, stay!
For still thy dictates I obey,
Nor yield to passion’s power;
Tho’, by injurious foes borne down.
My fame, my toil, my hopes o’erthrown
In one ill-fated hour;

When, robb’d of what I held most dear,
My hands adorned the mournful bier
Of her I loved so well;
What, when mute sorrow chained my tongue
As o’er the sable hearse I hung.
Forbade the tide to swell? —

‘Twas Patience — goddess ever calm!
Oh! pour into my breast thy balm.
That antidote to pain;
WhicH, flowing from the nectar’d urn,
By chemistry divine can turn
Our losses into gain.

When, sick and languishing in bed,
Sleep from my restless couch had fled
(Sleep which even pain beguiles),
What taught me calmly to sustain
A feverish being rack’d with pain,
And dress’d my looks in smiles? —

‘Twas Patience — Heaven – descended maid!
Implor’d, flew swiftly to my aid.
And lent her fostering breast,
Watched my sad hours with parent care,
Repell’d the approaches of despair,
And sooth’d my soul to rest.

Say, when dissever’d from his side.
My friend, protector, and my guide,

When my prophetic soul,
Anticipating all the storm,
Saw danger in its direst form.
What could my fears control? —

‘Twas Patience — gentle goddess, hear!
Be ever to thy suppliant near,
Nor let one murmur rise;
Since still some mighty joys are given,
Dear to her soul, the gifts of Heaven,
The sweet domestic ties.

Mary Eva Kelly: Irish Woman Poet

Mary Eva Kelly (1826–1910), better known as Eva of The Nation, was born in Headford, Co. Galway. She wrote poems from an early age . An enthusiastic supporter of the Young Irelanders, she published in The  United Irishman, The Felon and The Irish Tribune as well as Thomas Davis’ paper, The Nation. Her poems were collected in 1909.  The felon in the poem of that name was her fellow Young Irelander, John Mitchel.


‘Tis Ireland’s rallying cry,
We’ll raise it to the sky,
With flashing sword and eye —
The Felon!

‘Tis loud as trumpet’s call,
To rouse the sleepers all.
To strive — to strike — to fall! —
The Felon.

That great voice struck the chime
Of a new and wondrous time —
Those deep tones rang sublime
Through the land.

Never combat wrong with wrong;
In truth alone be strong!
Rise boldly — and, ere long
You are free!

Now, in this time of woe,
That Gospel truth we know,
No parley with the foe
Shall we hold.

As summer foliage riven
By the arrows of the levin,
From our hearts is softness driven
By that blow.

‘Tis the silent, brooding hour,
‘Twixt the strife of Right with Power,
Dark, lurid glances lower

Each red-hot passion, lo!
In this its liquid flow,
We mould as steel, that so
We avenge!

By the laws that maddening mock,
By the convict-ship and dock,
By that parting’s bitter shock,
Stand prepared!

By the all-unconquered mien,
In the final moment seen,
Undaunted and serene,
Nerve your hearts!

By his words, like sabre swing.
Calm, keen, unwavering.
To the winds endurance fling
From this day.

By the sacrifice that sealed
The doctrine he revealed,
Think, now, but of the field.
And of him.

For one, for two, for three!
Ay, hundreds, thousands, see.
For vengeance and for thee!
To the last!

Oh, surely shall we show
To that base, detested foe,
That even in wrong and woe
The victory was thine!


Elizabeth Mary Little: Irish Woman Poet

Not much is known about the life of Elizabeth Mary Little; even her name is somewhat in doubt, as she is also known as Lucy Mary and Lizzie Mary. She was born in Roscommon in1864 and dies in Bray in 1909. She was one of three daughters of Joseph Bennett Little, who is believed to have gambled away the family fortune. Her sister Grace (who married Ernest Rhys), also wrote, and her other sister Isabella wrote an introduction to her posthumous Poems (1909).

A Whisper

When the grip of the black frost tightened
And hurricane winds held strife,
So weary was I of the winter
I almost wearied of life.

No sun on the level horizon,
No glimmer of blue, or green,
Only the winds’ wild pinions
Grey sky and grim earth between.

Then low in my ear a whisper
Rejoiced me exceedingly,
So dear in its dream of beauty
It dropped out of faerie.

‘Sweeter than horns of elfland
You’ll hear down a whitethorn lane,
In exquisite April weather,
The cuckoo calling again.’

Ah! some of us children of summer
So steadfastly mourn the sun,
Our eyes are fixed on the zenith
Where yearly his race is run.

‘What of the gold of his arrows,
What of the light?’ — we say,
‘What of the tarrying seconds
Should bear to us back the day?’

He is well on his wondrous journey,
His progress of royal state,
With banners and woodland music
Earth moves to meet him elate:

With music and woodland banners
Of ever-beloved green,
And the opening eyes of the snowdrops
Each tremulous tress between.

But now ’tis my heart that whispers
Pulsing a glad refrain:
‘Soon, soon, not in dreams but daylight
I shall hear it close and plain.’

Yes, sweeter than horns of elfland,
Hard by, in a whitethorn lane,
By the gold-crowned Hill of Killiney
The cuckoo calling again!

Eleanor Rogers Cox: Irish Woman Poet

Eleanor Rogers Cox (1865-1931?) was born in Enniskillen and spent most of her life in the United States. Her poetry is mainly concerned with Irish themes. Biographical details are sketchy, but her work was widely anthologised and she published several collections, one of which, A Hosting of Heroes and Other Poems, was published in Dublin in 1911. ‘Cuchulain’s Wooing’ was included in A. P. Graves’ The Book of Irish Poetry (Dublin, no date given).

Cuchulain’s Wooing

Great-limbed and swift and beautiful
Past any dream, he came to her,

From Emain Macha through a land
For gladness of the Spring astir.

And on the flutes of Morning blown,
Strong Joy that took for breath no pause,

The song of Breeze and Stream and Bird,
The herald of his coming was.

Yea, and through all her April ways,
To Erin’s utmost sea-girt rim.

Through waking seed, and blade and leaf.
Green Nature laughed for joy of him.

And where he held his sun-bright course,
Straight-sped as arrow on its flight.

Men thronged as to a pageant wrought
By the high gods for their delight.

And seeing, with a fairer faith
The Deathless Mighty Ones adored,

Who thus unto their Ulster’s need
Had shaped at once a shield and sword,

So through the singing land he passed,
The peerless warden of her fame,

So, Lord himself of Love and War,
Unto his fair-faced love he came,