The Raven

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 (with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 [It is October 2002, the day after Ireland’s disastrous home defeat to the Swiss, which renders Ireland’s qualification for the European Championships well nigh impossible.]

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Once upon a midnight bloody,
Lounged McCarthy in his study,
Pondering the harsh, unholy
Portents of the night before.
Wounded deep by Hakan Yakin,
Press suggesting he was lackin’,
Conspiring to demand his sackin’,
This knave let out a hollow roar.
They might well demand his sacking,
Quoth McCarthy, “One game more!”

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 As he lolled upon his cushions,
Contemplating Swiss and Russians,
Thoughts of Saipan filtered brusquely,
Conjured up from days of yore.
Through the murky mists came hobblin’,
With a football madly bobblin’,
A vision of the Mayfield goblin
Striding through that hotel door.
Grinning madly, that foul goblin
Smiled and whispered, “Never more!”

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 As he dozed, consumed and troubled,
Dreadfully the vision doubled,
And another wizened figure
Strode triumphant ‘cross the floor.
To the poor, untutored layman,
Pranced a single-minded Shaman,
‘Twas the scheming, whistling Eamonn
Dunphy, ballpoint to the fore.
Then that mystic, wrinkled Eamonn
Dunphy whispered, “Never more!”

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Assaulted by this smirking twosome,
With their accents stark and gruesome,
McCarthy woke with brow perspiring,
Beads of sweat through every pore.
And, as he ceased his nervous napping,
He thought he heard a tiny rapping
Through the night come tap-tap-tapping,
Hard upon his study door.
“Who on earth is tap-tap-tapping?”
Angrily did he implore.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Like a most disgruntled rhino,
Swept he swiftly o’er the lino,
And with scarce concealed impatience,
Grasped the handle of the door.
Then this sad and lonely figure
Flung the door ajar with vigour,
And though he thought he heard a snigger,
Deep black night was all he saw.
“Did I really hear a snigger?”
Quoth McCarthy, nothing more.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Worried now, he hesitated,
Thwarted by his ghosts, frustrated,
Till at last, his patience snapping,
Violently he slammed the door.
But as the clock resumed tick-tocking,
Fancied he, he heard a knocking,
Barely heard and faintly mocking,
Mocking as McCarthy swore.
“Who is this so faintly mocking?”
Came a small voice, “Never more!”

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 “This is not imagination!”
Cried McCarthy with frustration,
“Someone close is out there standing
Hard upon my study door.”
Thus the bould McCarthy reckoned,
As he paused for just one second,
Till once more the small voice beckoned
From the night’s Plutonian shore.
Softly now the small voice beckoned,
Softly chiding, “Never more!”

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 McCarthy wrenched the door with passion
In a most ungodly fashion,
The pulse within his temple throbbing,
Senses shaken to the core.
And, as he scratched his chin unshaven,
Through the door there stepped a craven,
Hollow-eyed, ungodly raven,
With a most distinctive caw.
Cackled this ungodly raven
Quite distinctly, “Never more!”

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Up on Charlton’s bust it fluttered,
As McCarthy darkly muttered,
Uttered oaths not heard in heaven
Nor upon Nirvana’s shore.
Showing scant regard for fleeing,
There it perched with eyes unseeing,
Staring at the human being,
Standing there with slackened jaw.
Sneering at the human being,
As it murmured, “Never more!”

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 McCarthy stared at this black vision,
Bereft of logic and decision,
Something in the bird’s demeanour
Stuck fast in his stubborn craw.
The accent that foul bird had uttered,
As it upwardly had fluttered,
Was surely that which Cork men uttered,
According to the rebel lore.
[McCarthy blanched when Cork men muttered]
Quoth the raven, “Never more!”

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 “Get thee hence, ungodly creature!”
Cried McCarthy like a preacher
Exorcising demons in a
Tableau from a holy war.
But the raven perched there tightly,
Three days stubble quite unsightly,
Cruciate ligaments flexing lightly,
Face towards the study door.
McCarthy’s face was flushing brightly.
Quoth the raven, “Never more!”

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 “Are these the only words you’re able
To impart, black bird of fable?
Have you learned them parrot-fashion
From a most obtuse macaw?
Seest thou not, that I wish that you
Leave my Big Jack Charlton statue?
Go now! Quit my habitat, you
Are not welcome, that’s for sure.
Please, now, leave my habitat, you!”
Quoth the raven, “Never more!”

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 The raven’s eyes burned with cold fire.
“What,” McCarthy did enquire,
Is the reason for your rapping,
Tapping on my study door?
I have work that needs attending,
Faxes urgently need sending,
A coach’s work is never-ending,
Especially when results are poor.
The Swiss made fun of our defending.”
Quoth the raven, “Never more!”

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 Then McCarthy saw this raven
Was a harbinger, a craven
Doom-strewn messenger of fortune,
Sent to speak eternal law.
Round the study blind he lumbered,
Ireland’s future unencumbered,
For his days were shortly numbered,
Resignation lay in store.
He realised his days were numbered,
As the bird spoke, “Never more!”

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 To this day, it sits besmirching
Charlton’s bust, ungainly perching,
In McCarthy’s study blithely,
Still of eye and sharp of claw.
Despite the fire, the room grows colder,
Still it sits there, darker, bolder,
Two big chips upon each shoulder,
Staring blindly at the door.
Will McCarthy move that boulder?
Cries the raven, “Never more!”


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-raven/