The Curragh Wrens 
heroic Fionn MacCumhail
dust now in the sidhe
crumbled musty ruin
who dwells on the proud Curragh?
pennants fly bugles sound gleaming bayonets
barded mounts rumble cross the plain
host of a foreign Queen
outside the troops’
untarnished bone-white tents
clasp close for bare necessities
the Curragh Wrens
shelters burned commerce refused them
furze their only nest
in starched gowns they huddle baby at breast
drink with wandering soldiers
by the barrack wall
these your little
neglected night birds Brigit
following love selling their lives
flogged in the streets for their sins
Inspired by “Stoning the Desolate”, by Charles Dickens, from All The Year Round, No. 292 1864.
For James Greenwood’s article in Dickens’ Pall Mall Gazette (1867):
 “...the poor wretches of whom we have spoken are called ‘wrens,’ ‘because they live in holes in the banks’...” James Greenwood in Dickens’ newspaper the Pall Mall Gazette, 1867.