Under This Grey Headstone

Satire was one of the favourite topics of old Irish literature. The others were lament, love and lullaby. This takes and develops the first two lines of a poem I learned at school, "Faoi Lár na Leice Seo," literally "Under the centre of this headstone."

Under this grey headstone

A grim, fat monster lies,

In death as in life

Universally despised.


In front of this grey headstone,

If you kneel to pray,

Let your prayer be, “Thank you, Lord,

That this monster’s in the clay.”


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