The Marriage of Cecil Sole
From Bob Sheldon
This article was originally published in the April 2002 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
During his researches Phil Lynch has unearthed much information and many family papers which include this poem which he obtained from his Irish first cousin, twice removed, Fred Sole who is the son of the poem’s subject.
Their Sole connection originated with Andrew Sole in Deal in Kent circa 1650. In the 1820s a gg-grandson of Andrew named Eastes Sole left Deal and took his wife and young family to Ireland where eventually his g-granddaughter Maria married Henry Lynch – Phil’s g-grandparents – in 1895.
Maria had a younger brother named Edward Cecil Sole but he was always known as “Mike”. He was born in 1886 but did not find his true love, Ada, until 1923 when he was 37 and his brother in law Henry was 54. So the experienced Henry rather took the innocent Mike under his wing when it came to the wedding day and wrote the poem to record the day for posterity.
Unfortunately parts of it seem to be missing; nevertheless although Henry may not have been a famous Irish poet, he did well to put this together to record what must have been a wonderful day for all concerned.
The Passing of Mike – 22nd October 1923
by Henry Richard Lynch
We called him soon and early for fear he would be late.
He snored and yawned, then murmured, “Oh call again at eight.”
We shaved him and we washed him, and Marcel waived his hair,
We buttoned up his trousers and powdered him with care.
We gave him eggs for breakfast, and butter on his bread,
He then gazed in a mirror to make sure he had a head.
We packed him in a motor, and sat on him all day;
This was a wise precaution to prevent a run away.
To Rathnew then we motored, it is forty miles or more
Between the hills of Wicklow, real Irish to the core.
The sun shone brightly on us, as through the glens we sped,
The birds were singing gaily, “This day Mike will be wed”.
We stopped at New Mountkennedy to enquire the way I think,
When Mike said in an undertone “Would you like a little drink?”
We reached our destination, the hour was just eleven,
“Another half hour Mike ould son, and you will be in Heaven.”
He bore up well and bravely as we supped tea and cake,
While he rehearsed at intervals “I will this woman take.”
We then heard for the first time with feelings of dismay,
The church wherein we were to meet, was still then ten miles away
Again into the motor we bundled Tod and Mike,
With Yah and Roguey, Mrs Shane, you never saw the like.
I sat out with the driver to save him from a lurch
The bells were ringing merrily, as we came up to the church.
Then Yah and Roguey, Phil and I walked up the aisle in state;
The pews were very narrow, there was no room for my “fate”.
The people stared at us in awe the curate raised a frown
At whispers from the pitstalls “His ould wan’s down from town.”
We waited for the bridegroom who begob had done a bunk;
I felt just like an elephant who had gone and lost his trunk.
The curate coughed then said a prayer, and gazed around in gloom,
Then came to me all smiles and said “I presume YOU are the groom.”
“Me! Oh no begob your riverence for I’ve been had before;”
I got my legs outside the pew and bolted for the door.
I soon found Tod and Mike (who was pinning up his socks)
I grabbed him by the neck tie and shoved him in the dock.
The bride arrived soon after all dressed in silver grey,
A Mr Shane her B-in-law with glee gave her away.
The curate, she and Mike, then played at Put and Take;
Mike did all the putting, she did all the take.
We then had more palaver, and wedding hymns were sung
The bells again start pealing “Begob poor Mike is hung.”
We drenched them with confetti and then their Phizzers took;
We threw away our small change to urchins just for luck.
Again into a motor the bride and groom were packed . . . . .
Mike had his little Ada and kissed her oft and long,
And every other female he kissed in that great throng.
Begob Mike is some kisser I was proud of on that day,
No matter what the face was like he kissed that face away.
His lips were sore his eyes were dim, I saw his head was reeling,
Hurrah for Mike the only Sole who has the Kruschen Feeling.
Then back to Mrs Shane’s we went for lashings for to eat;
Puddens, pies and trifles, jellies, fowl and mate,
Coffee, tea and chocolates and cakes of every hue,
When I had punished all the lot I wished that I were you.
Then when upon our legs we got we all made for the door,
Where Roguey with her “Brownie” then snapped us all once more.
Again into the motor car, this time with bride and groom
Mamma, Tod and Roguey, I and Phillis . . . . . .
Then forty miles again we bumped returning into town,
There are “Knobs” on my anatomy to prevent me sitting down.
To motor may be alright for ten miles or eleven,
But from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. is not at all like Heaven.
Your ‘Mary’ gets the wabbles, your other end the shakes,
You buy up tins of Zambuck to heal your pains and aches.
There are no more Soles to marry I am very glad to say,
I got one carabuncle on poor Mike’s wedding day.
The bride and groom departed where no one knows they’re wed,
“Yes we have no bananas”, that’s what the curate said.
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