Tuesday, 1 October 2013
There is not in this wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet!
Oh the last rays of feeling and life must depart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart
Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
Ireland is famed for its literature. The likes of Wilde, Joyce and Heaney are all celebrated world-wide, but the poet who has captured the heart of the Irish - in the way Robert Burns did for the Scottish - is 'the bard of Ireland', Thomas Moore.
We know him as the poet who penned The Minstrel Boy. In County Wicklow his more lauded work is The Meeting of the Waters, the place where the Avonmore and Avonbeg rivers come together to form the Avoca River.
I'd wanted to see this spot, but missed it the first time we went past as it's obscured by a large touristy pub and gift shop. But stepping beyond these trappings lies the above view and my first ever sighting of a Dipper.
NAH and I sat right at the end of a concrete platform above the river's boulders and filled our eyes with this view. The sun was warm on our backs and the tumbling waters stilled us. We watched the fish jumping (NAH saw many more than me as I had the knack of looking away at the last moment) and both of us saw the electric blue of a kingfisher flying downstream. A magical moment.
At first we sat in silence, but then started to talk our first real long talk of our holiday. It shows when you look beyond man's impact on a place, it's true heart can help restore your own.
This place held one final surprise. In the interpretation boards around the surrounding Thomas Moore memorial park, I found out he's buried here in Wiltshire; in Bromham. It was an unexpected link with home when our selves and thoughts were abroad.