Tribute to John O’Sullivan

By Seamus Davis

Will someone pull the curtains, and close the big hall door,
And shut the stage door too; it’s only right.
We’ll put away the books and scripts, they’ll do another day.
Rehearsals are cancelled here tonight.

The weeping willow brought the news, long ‘ere the night was done,
And the stage in silence shed a tear, for John, her favourite son.
He strode them boards a thousand times, and thousands did impress;
A lifetime’s long ambition, he always did address.

“Perfection” was his motto; his energies he gave,
Be it “Paddy Pedlar”, “Bull McCabe”, “Dr. Fell” or “Sharon’s Grave”.
Thus made by his creator, since first his life begun,
Never failed his duties, just said: “Thy will be done.”

And often – a friendly gathering, with the make-up out of sight,
A story told with detail or two, he would recite.
“The Mission”…”beware my Brethern…the lonely road don’t go…
the statue of Our Lady standing in the snow.”
“We’ll all be ruined,” said Hanrahan, “the rain it had us ducked,”
“And Michael Mor from Cararoe…The Rothar…and Seomra a h-Ocht.”

The many halls and stages, where drama did abide;
A legendary figure, his cast there by his side.
The Abbey and the Druid, theatres big and small,
An acknowledged reputation, enjoyed by one and all.

In mind’s eye, now, we watch again, as the curtain wide it wings,
The dialogue and the movement, with the prompter in the wings.
The producer and director, who regulates life’s span,
Has called you to his palace high, to play the leading man.