Hart family poem


A poem was written in 1835 by a school teacher named McKinley prior to the family’s departure for America.



Shanvalley, once the pride of all these parts,

And flourished long beneath the race of Harts;

As if in sorrow at going away,

Now clouded seems, and falling to decay.

The fertile fields and meads so gay, so green

Where Winter’s withered face could scarce be seen.

A different aspect here of late assumes

And all their verdant beauties clad in gloom.

Here oft the needy and the neighboring poor

Found sure relief, and still an open door;

The stranger, too, benighted sought the road,

To Mr. Harts of Shanvalley’s abode.

But now no more the sprightly dance or song

In blameless mirth, goes round the cheerful throng,

No more at setting sun or rising moon,

We hear the Viols brisk enlivening tune.

You charming fair still with abundance blest

Of beauty, grace, and modesty possessed;

Entitled to unclaimed respect beside,

And always free from vanity; and pride –

Farewell, be happy in a foreign land,

Eliza fair and noble Mary Ann.

Seven blooming youths of fair unblemished fame,

Recorded here, each by his proper name,

The first is Thomas, sober, wise, and grave

In person graceful, and in conduct brave

Well skilled in that most useful of all Arts,

To mortals most essential in all parts.

The second, James, the noblest of our youth,

Famed for true valour, dignity, and truth

A faultless form above middle size,

A face like Phebus beaming in our eyes,

Where Mars and Venus both united shine

To render him complete in every line.

Two absentees already have crost o’er,

And points the way to freedom’s native shore;

Samuel and Joseph sacred names we find

That bode success to those here left behind.

Moses so justly call’d and not less fair,

Than he who claimed a royal Virgin’s care.

King Pharaoh’s daughter snatched him from the pool

And raised him to dignity and rule.

Like him devoted to deep classic lore

He leaves his native land in search of more.

Solly and William, comely, fair and young,

The last that from a worthy mother sprung,

In them already independence glows

And their success through life hereafter shows.

Shalt thou Miss Charlotte here forgotten be

Seeing removed from those but one degree,

Delightful prattler innocence so sweet

Might render short the passage o’er the deep.

Now to you all a long and last Adieu;

And if the good be happy so will you.


Transcriber Notes

8 thoughts on “Hart family poem

  1. Hello
    I have an old map dated 1832 with the name of Thomas Hart in
    the townland of Corcullion. His homestead is also shown. This townland adjoins Shanvalley near Castlefin.
    Are you interested

    1. James is this a map you have digitally or can scan and share with us? We would certainly be interested in viewing.
      Thank you for your offer

  2. Unfortunatly if we do have a relative in the area,(which we may), we do not know them. We will have to wait until we make a trip to Ireland.
    Thank you for your offer.

  3. Another Thomas Hart has appeared on another old survey map of 1804 in the same area near Castlefin. Could this be the father of Samuel? What is the art most useful to mortals interpreted in the poem?

  4. I would interpret the “most useful of all arts” to be a reference to farming.

    James, is there a way for you to scan or photograph the old survey maps?

  5. My great grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Hart Calaway. I read the obituary of my great grandfather Leonard Calaway and found her listed as his wife. My mother, now deceased, often referred to her Hart cousins. Both are buried in Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Plainfield, NJ. Mary’s year of birth is 1874 and year of death is 1925. Does anyone know where she was born and her parents?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.