We publish here a tribute to an old storyteller of long ago. Padraic O'Conaire, Gaelic Storyteller by F.R. Higgins (1869-1941) They've paid the last respects in sad tobacco And silent is this wakehouse in its haze; They've paid the last respects; and now their whiskey Flings laughing words on mouths of prayer and praise; And so young couples huddle by the gables. O let them grope home through the hedgy night - Alone I'll mourn my old friend, while the cold dawn Thins out the holy candlelight. Respects are paid to one loved by the people; Ah, was he not - among our mighty poor - The sudden wealth cast on those pools of darkness, Those bearing, just, a star's faint signature; And so he was to me, close friend, near brother, Dear Padraic of the wide and sea-cold eyes - So, lovable, so courteous and noble, The very West was in his soft replies. They'll miss his heavy stick and stride in Wicklow - His story-talking down Winetavern Street, Where old men sitting in the wizen daylight Have kept an edge upon his gentle wit; While women on the grassy streets of Galway, Who hearken for his passing - but in vain, Shall hardly tell his step as shadows vanish Through archways of forgotten Spain. Ah, they'll say, Padraic's gone again exploring; But now down glens of brightness, O he'll find An alehouse overflowing with wise Gaelic That's braced in vigour by the bardic mind, And there his thoughts shall find their own forefathers - In minds to whom our heights of race belong, in crafty men, who ribbed a ship or turned The secret joinery of song. Alas, death mars the parchment of his forehead; And yet for him, I know, the earth is mild - The windy fidgets of September grasses Can never tease a mind that loved the wild; So drink his peace - this grey juice of the barley Runs with a light that ever pleased his eye - While old flames nod and gossip on the hearthstone And only the young winds cry.