Michael Fogarty



In an ale-house on the Quays,

I met an Angel soft and tender

A' sipping Christmas wine.


She looked at me perchance to smile

And so I thought to pass the time

I'd take a drink

And sit awhile.


There we sat midst Christmas cheer

And drunken reverie

When her face grew wan and

She laughing said to me.


"It was Christmas day now long ago

I lost my bonny boy

And so I drink my wine the

Long year round to keep him in the air."


"Fool," said I, "it is not wise

To dote yourself away

We—all of us must one day live

To see lovers turn to clay."


"To clay? Not he" (her temper in a flare)

"More likely to the innocent

Or to the judge's snare.


Alas the trees now ever-bare

Alas regret too late.

I lost it all that winter's day

With Christmas in the air."


Now I perplexed and she in tears

Sat silent in the place. Minutes

Passed and drinks were downed.

I smiling took my leave.


So I took it as a lesson learned and

Went my merry way with dreams

Of loved ones (and of wine)

Awaiting Christmas Day.


And though frequent I have been

To that ale-house on the Quays

And though frequent I have seen

Faces pretty as can be


The one that still escapes me

Is the one that captivates me

—the one I left behind.


So I spend my time berating

Whatever fate awaits me

By the window of an ale-house

A' sipping Christmas wine.


Michael Fogarty was born in Dublin where he now lives in modest circumstances and sees Joyce's Tower every morning from the train.



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