Season’s Greetings from The Maine Valley Post

The Church of Saints Stephen & John, Castleisland from Tom Horan’s field.
©Photograph: John Reidy 29-3-2000

I’d like to send Christmas wishes for health and happiness – and other beautiful things that can’t be bought, sold or traded – to Castleisland and Kerry people everywhere on this Christmas Eve 2019.

Thanks for everything and for all your support for The Maine Valley Post in the course of 2019.

And, to people for whom the darkness and dreariness of recent days is proving near unbearable, rays of light and hope are breaking through as the days are getting longer and brighter from this week onward.

We have turned an ancient corner and light is beckoning weakly but weekly growing brighter and stronger.

Have a read through the poem below and you’ll see it was written by a man who understood what he was talking and writing about.

In putting his dark thoughts down in such an unbowed and unconquerable fashion and by letting them off out there in the world of his Victorian era, he surely knew that, one day, he would ‘talk’ to the people of a world so completely different to his – and yet so much the same.

Happy Christmas.


By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.