Here you will find the Long Poem Old Men Complaining of poet Padraic Colum
First Old Man He threw his crutched stick down: there came Into his face the anger flame, And he spoke viciously of one Who thwarted him?his son?s son. He turned his head away.??I hate Absurdity of language, prate From growing fellows. We?d not stay About the house the whole of a day When we were young, Keeping no job and giving tongue! ?Not us in troth! We would not come For bit or sup, but stay from home If we gave answers, or we?d creep Back to the house, and in we?d peep Just like a corncrake. ?My grandson and his comrades take A piece of coal from you, from me A log, or sod of turf, maybe; And in some empty place they?ll light A fire, and stay there all night, A wisp of lads! Now understand The blades of grass under my hand Would be destroyed by company! There?s no good company: we go With what is lowest to the low! He stays up late, and how can he Rise early? Sure he lags in bed, And she is worn to a thread With calling him?his grandmother. She?s an old woman, and she must make Stir when the birds are half awake In dread he?d lose this job like the other!? Second Old Man ?They brought yon fellow over here, And set him up for an overseer: Though men from work are turned away That thick-necked fellow draws full pay? Three pounds a week?. They let burn down The timber yard behind the town Where work was good; though firemen stand In boots and brasses big and grand The crow of a cock away from the place. And with the yard they let burn too The clock in the tower, the clock I knew As well as I know the look in my face.? Third Old Man ?The fellow you spoke of has broken his bounds? He came to skulk inside of these grounds: Behind the bushes he lay down And stretched full hours in the sun. He rises now, and like a crane He looks abroad. He?s off again: Three pounds a week, and still he owes Money in every street he goes, Hundreds of pounds where we?d not get The second shilling of a debt.? First Old Man ?Old age has every impediment Vexation and discontent; The rich have more than we: for bit The cut of bread, and over it The scrape of hog?s lard, and for sup Warm water in a cup. But different sorts of feeding breaks The body more than fasting does With pains and aches. ?I?m not too badly off, for I Have pipe and tobacco, a place to lie, A nook to myself; but from my hand Is taken the strength to back command? I?m broken, and there?s gone from me The privilege of authority.? I heard them speak? The old men heavy on the sod, Letting their angers come Between them and the thought of God.