Poem for a Farmer

This poem is written for Mrs. Margaret Dolan in memory of her late father, Thomas McCreesh (McGinnis) of Tullyogallaghan, Belleeks, Co. Armagh.  It is submitted by Rosemary Dolan of Guestbook.  Newry Journal is honoured to reproduce it here!
A great, a grand outstanding man,
Whose goal was ever high;
Who to whate’er he put his hand
Found not in vain the try.
He lab’red well and managed good
The land he did possess;
Few farmers of his neighborhood
Were more of a success.
His homestead, so well kept and neat,
Of care and taste spoke out;
It certainly was up-to-date,
None better thereabout.
At fair and market he was keen,
A master of retort;
But never from a spirit mean
Would he one’s feelings hurt.

His knowledge of livestock was wide,
No guesswork judge was he;
Time-tested methods were his guide,
And could not bettered be.
For miles around he was well known,
And held in high repute;
Upon this point there sure were none
Who’d venture to dispute.

By grand example and advice
He upheld honour’s way;
And pointed to the heavy price
Transgressors have to pay.
All those within his reach and care
Most ably did he lead;
Their erring ways he did not spare,
Nor aught to them concede.

To church and clergy always he
Full strictly did adhere;
He in them did Christ’s guidance see,
And felt his presence near.
Good hearted and responsive too,
He of times did befriend
Those neighbours who, he well, well knew
Life’s trial weights did bend.

The drawbacks of the times could not
His staunch persistence blight;
He still held on to goals he sought,
And kept an outlook bright.
Discipline with him carried weight,
He strongly did it stress;
The reason why, he’d tell you straight,
He knew its usefulness.

And so this man his whole life through
Improvements round him wrought;
His record fine accents the true,
The high aims to be sought.
He showed the faltering weak ones how
From struggle, strength to wrest;
How not to human frailty bow,
But live up to one’s best.

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