‘The Spirit of Old Dublin’, A poem by Liam Fitzpatrick.

The Spirit of Old Dublinhap


Cathedral shadow, from

moonlight’s gleam, casts

a shape on world serene.

This ghost of Swift

through gardens green

walks the park at midnight.


My spirit moves, on paths

now bare.

With dormant life and inner stare

at world now changed

but yet the same,

with troubles still,

of war and pain


As in my time, long

now gone.

The poor still weak,

the rich still strong.

What might it take,

myself I ask

for men to know,

that life will pass.


Not like a flower to

bloom and please,

and then to die, with

Sweet unease.


But man perverse, will

not adjust,

to God’s request

or Nature’s thrust.


He will persist, with

lack of thought,

to exploit still

the lives he’s bought.


His wealth exceeds

his earthly want,

he yet submits

to earthly greed.


Life has not changed,

this ghost concedes.

Man’s still the same

with wants and needs.

Maybe with time, and God’s will,

He may improve, and may still win.


But for now to rest,

in silent tomb,

in Patrick’s church,

near Dublin’s Coombe.

Perhaps to walk some night again,

And ponder on the fates of men.


12 Responses to “‘The Spirit of Old Dublin’, A poem by Liam Fitzpatrick.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s a lovely poem – simply written, but full of pathos and insight.

    I think with a poem like this, it could go either way; it could be tawdry and sentimental old tosh or it could be something containing echoes of Old Dublin – ghostly voices we’ve all heard – though usually in our school text-books. In this piece, you can hear the voice of an old man who has seen it all and done most of it and is a bit tired, but holds out some hope while he’s at it. More of this type of thing! :)

    • liam.fitzpatrick1@upcmail.ie says:

      Thank you for your nice comments about my poem. I should state that it was written some years ago when I was somewhat younger and the thoughts expressed were what I imagined were those felt by Jonathan Swift the author of many books including Gulliver’s Travels and was then Dean of St.Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. He was also a great supporter of the poor at that time with his involvement in the provision of hospitals in those dark times for many of the citizens.

      Yours in appreciation,
      Liam Fitzpatrick.

  2. Natalie says:

    Wow! That was beautiful! I could almost hear it orated, cold and echoey, with distant footsteps in the Dublin night.

  3. VS says:

    Fantastic read!

  4. Geraldine Fawcett says:

    What a beautiful and wistful poem. More please. Take a bow author.

  5. K. Smyth (Dublin) says:


  6. Carol Riley says:

    Love it, thanks for sharing.

  7. S. Flynn (NJ) says:

    Wonderful, thank you Liam Fitzpatrick!

  8. Greg Williams (Brooklyn, NY) says:

    I will add this poem to the long list of reasons why I love the Irish. It’s a country where stories and poems seem to be the natural by-product of life, rather than a place where stories and poems come to life in the dimmer corners and are nurtured by just a few.

  9. Séamus O'Dowd says:

    Excellent poem Uncle Liam, I was able to read it with your voice in mind. I find it to be a very evocative piece that brought out a process of free flowing associations, around the author, the Dublin he lived in and the contrasting we live in today.

  10. Karen S.F. says:

    Wow, that’s lovely, well done…

  11. C. Nevin (Dublin) says:

    Lovely poem it has given me a lot to think about and it is still true today , unfortunately !

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