Poems of Elizabeth McCormick of Drumbane, Co Donegal, c1920

These poems were submitted by Bill and form part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources website

You may link to this page but not copy it


The poems were composed by Bill's Aunt, Elizabeth McCormick, in the 1920s

Please note that these poems have been copied a lot of times and some of the rhyming words may not be just right





My ideal man has got no fad

(for all who have are well nigh mad)

He does not gather fossils rare

And say "how interesting they are"

He does not poke through rocks to prove

That they once used to live and move

No! No! if he has time to spare

He makes a stool or mends a chair

You see I have in my plan

He's what you call "a handy man"

He can't keep house without a wife                                                                                                                                                                                            

Never made a pancake in his life.

I like a man who tells you plain

That woman's work he'd try in vain

The man who tells you he can cook

Deserves a most severe rebuke

How would he like his wife to say

" I think I'll go and plow today"


I haven't mentioned flirting yet

( I'll do so now lest I forget )

They tell me its only a few

And then perhaps no harm is done

But even then I think its low

To trifle with affection so

Its' bad when found in girls. but then

Its' even worse when found in men

So one thing certain in my plan

He's not a fickle flirting man


My ideal man is liberal too

He helps each cause you bring to view

He keeps no purse with strings tight tied

The contents grudgingly to hide

In both his pockets loose coins mingle

And make a very pleasant jingle

There's just one thing that vexes me

( its a pity you'll agree)

I've no idea where to find                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The man I have before my mind

Alas! I fear if he is human

He dwells with the ideal woman


So one thing more I will suggest

I've left it to the very last

Don't let us sigh for the ideal

But make the best of what is real

Indeed to make my meaning plain

I'll just repeat it o'er again

If what you like,  you cannot get

Like what you have, and do not fret

And now at last my task is ended

I hope there is nobody offended.


Elizabeth Mc Cormick. 



Perhaps you'll think what I have to say

Its not worth ink or pen

Its only just a simple lay 

About the common hen


Now it has always been my want

To have about the door

A few good hardy common hens 

Perhaps about a score


And they were just allowed to live

More for convenience sake

The eggs were very useful when

You had a cake to bake.


And we had got on well enough

And years and years were spent

And none ever dreamt that hens

Could help to pay the rent


And then one day (oh woeful time)

T'was in the month of May

A lady came to lecture us

On "poultry made to pay"

Of course we women went to hear

And it is strange but true

You will scarcely believe 

But lots of men went too


"Dear women friends I put a case

To you and reason thus

We leave the crops to men and they

Should leave the hens to us"


"Indeed I further yet will go

And say this simple rhyme

A man should never mention eggs

Except at breakfast time"

I tell you we were sore amazed

By what we heard that night

She told us we had spoilt our hens 

We hadn't fed them right

But worse than that, the hens themselves

Where scarcely worth the feeding

For they were mongrels nothing more

Deficient in the breeding


She talked of Orpingtons and game

Rhodeye and  Cochius too

Antonas, Bluff and Plymouth Rocks

And Audaluians blue


She praised Hondaus and Favourellas

Came in not far behind

Moncreas black and Leghorns white

I tried to keep in mind


Well just to make my story short 

We followed her advice

We brought home Orpingtons and Rocks

At quite a fancy price

We purchased pollard and some grain

And gave so much a head

That was the proper food for hens

 Or so the lady said


Our poultry house we modernized

We didn't mind the pay

The Orpingtons would cover that

When they commenced to lay


In winter time these things were done

No eggs were in the pens 

But we would see when spring arrived

The difference in our hens


One day in early springtime

When the ground with frost was hard

A cackling loud and very shrill

Was heard throughout the yard


We ran to see which hen had layed

(And now the plot does thicken)

It was no Orpington----- but just

A wee mongrel chicken.


Elizabeth Mc Cormick.



BACK to Urney


Lindel Buckley

Donegal Genealogy Resources