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An Ardboe Fisherman

by Margaret Coleman Jenckes
Submitted by Mary Jarvis

Reprinted with permission by her daughter
Norma Coleman Jenckes


This poem was written by Margaret Coleman Jenckes (1910 – 1997). She lived in Pawtucket, RI, USA. Her parents were Joseph Coleman (1884-1938), son of Michael Coleman and Jane Taylor of Kiltagh (Coagh district). She wrote it about her cousin John Devlin and his life of fishing for eels on the Lough. It was published in the Pawtucket Times newspaper.


An Ardboe Fisherman


Fisherman, loyal son of Ardboe

Reared by the shores of Lough Neagh

Poverty – ever your constant foe

Long ago caused you to stray.


Homesick – you returned to the old town

Walked to the diamond once more

Stood by the old cross of world renown

Vowed – never to leave this shore.


Out on the boat at the break of day

To haul in lines and the catch

Many a time you worked without pay

Bringing home a scanty batch.


Riding from Cookstown you’d fall asleep

Get soaked with the late night rain

Your old horse trudging hills low and steep

Till he brought you home again.


In your twilight years you sit and dream

Of those days when you were young

How you weathered the gales of life’s stream

And all your songs have been sung.


Daily you watch the sun rise and set

On the lough you love so dear

Able yet – to untangle life’s net

As you start another year.