An Irish Summer


Broom out the floor now, lay the fender by,
And plant this bee-sucked bough of woodbine there,
And let the window down. The butterfly
Floats in upon the sunbeam, and the fair
Tanned face of June, the nomad gipsy, laughs
Above her widespread wares, the while she tells
The farmers’ fortunes in the fields, and quaffs
The water from the spider-peopled wells.
The hedges are all drowned in green grass seas,
And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo’s light,
While siren-like the pollen-staind bees
Drone in the clover depths. And up the height
The cuckoo’s voice is hoarse and broke with joy.
And on the lowland crops the crows make raid,
Nor fear the clappers of the farmer’s boy,
Who sleeps, like drunken Noah, in the shad
And loop this red rose in that hazel ring
That snares your little ear, for June is short
And we must joy in it and dance and sing,
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth.
Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south,
The wind wheel north to gather in the snow,
Even the roses spilt on youth’s red mouth
Will soon blow down the road all roses go.

Francis Edward Ledwidge


Every year the Irish people look forward to summer after the dreary days of winter. Spring promises, and we wait for summer to fufil those dreams in our heads. We know we get a lot of rain in Ireland and that it is common to have a wet summer but we never learn and we never give up hope. We remember the ‘heat waves’ that come every five years or so, and those long hot days on the beach or on the bog. Those memories sustain us through the days of disappointment.

As soon as the sun comes out we are baring flesh to catch the rays, eating ice-creams and planning barbecues, weekends away, camping trips and going to the multitude of festivals that pop up the length and breadth of Ireland.

Visitors to Ireland love the lush green scenery which of course is a consequence of the frequent rainfall. Why else would Ireland be called the ‘Emerald Isle’?

Relations And Tourists

Many visitors to Ireland at this time of year are family members who have moved abroad, relatives whose family members emigrated several generations back, and the curious tourist that has heard or read so much about Ireland.

For those returning from abroad, it is a time to reconnect with family and friends and introduce their children to the delights of their own childhoods. Those whose forebears emigrated from Ireland are anxious to follow up on family roots and immerse themselves in Irish culture and tradition. People who are visiting Ireland for the first time because they have heard others talk about the country, know that it is not about the weather but about the scenery, the history, the music, the pubs, the literature and most of all about the people.

And the weather. We moan about it, but they love it. After all, if you are accustomed to strict seasons in your home country, with summertime dry and hot, often drought-ridden, then Ireland’s happy carefree habit of wandering from sunshine to showers, clear blue skies to black storm clouds, balmy temperatures to chills which necessitate pulling on a sweater (why do you think we have so many Aran sweater shops?), all in the space of an afternoon, is part of the charm and part of the memory.

Golden Days

There is no better place to be than in Ireland on a beautiful, sunny summer’s day, Irish people often say, and it is so true. Ireland on a sunny day is magical, with its vibrant greens against a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

William Allingham (1824-1889)

    O SPIRIT of the Summertime !
        Bring back the roses to the dells ;
    The swallow from her distant clime,
        The honey-bee from drowsy cells.

    Bring back the friendship of the sun ;
        The gilded evenings, calm and late,
   When merry children homeward run,
        And peeping stars bid lovers wait.

    Bring back the singing; and the scent
        Of meadowlands at dewy prime;—
   Oh, bring again my heart's content,
        Thou Spirit of the Summertime !

2 thoughts on “An Irish Summer”

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