It is said of Brigid’s successors at Kildare
that they kept her fire alight
a thousand years or thereabouts.
I think of those
who have lived in this house,
who kept its memory crisp,
its spirit thriving-
this fine old special house-
the named and the unnamed,
the saints and the strugglers,
the clear-headed and the muddlers,
of those who lived long lives here,
growing old with the building,
their bones creaking through Dublin winters
on bare floorboards before central heating,
of those who died here young and stricken,
of diseases we don’t see often today, if ever,
and of those noblest who having long loved it
left it so that others from all the world
could meet here the spirit of a generous heart.
Give thanks for those who kept the home fires burning,
minding the house,
keepers of the hearth.