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.