The Call of the Running Tide

By Patricia McElhone

Elsinore and Memory Harbour more than any other physical feature of Rosses Point encapsulated the character and flavour of a seaside, seafaring village. Old Rosses Point will never fade from memory as long as Jack Yeats' paintings and W.B. Yeats' poetry survive. Spending their boyhood days around Rosses Point, they never forgot the magic and splendour of Knocknarea, Coney Island and Sruth na Mile- in moonlight and sunlight, in calm and storm, sailors, ships, lighthouses, fairies and mystical horses, dreams and stories.

The ruined Elsinore House, once residence of Henry Middleton, was always on the periphery of village life. W.B. Yeats wrote of Henry Middleton:

My name is Henry Middleton
I have a small demense
A small forgotten house that's set
On a storm-bitten green.

The sea will always call and neither change nor time will take from our children and their children their deep-rooted love of Rosses Point with all its beauty spread out before them and the words of John Masefield to articulate the latent longing of any seafaring villager:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying,
I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.