poach - to cook (an egg) by dropping it, without the shell, into boiling water and simmering gently; to catch and carry off (game or fish) illegally + (notebook 1924): 'what wdn't I give' Key: John McCormack, His Own Life Story 186: 'What wouldn't I give to have records of Mario and the other great artists of early days'. 

rent - a cleft or fissure in the surface of the earth; a deep narrow gorge or valley; also, a narrow breach in a wall, etc.

riverside - the side or bank of a river; the ground adjacent to, or stretching along, a river + (hole in his trousers on the side towards the river).

beavery - a place in which beavers live or are kept + breviary + (notebook 1924): 'I'd give my socks, my shoes, my shirt - honest' Key: John McCormack, His Own Life Story 352: 'if I had that voice - if I could only reproduce those tones - I'd give my socks, my shoes, my shirt - honest!'.

dace - a small fresh-water cyprinoid fish, Leuciscus vulgaris

grannom - a kind of fly (see quots.); also an imitation of it used in fly-fishing + Grania and Finn.

finny - provided with or having fins + (notebook 1924): 'finny ones' → Key: John McCormack, His Own Life Story 183: 'Wilkinson got the dory ready, and by that time Gwen and Cyril appeared, carrying between them a large pail generously filled with the lure for our finny game'.

guppies - a small, livebearing freshwater fish (Poecilia reticulata) native to tropical America and widely kept in aquariums

minnow - a small cyprinoid freshwater fish, Leuciscus phoxinus or Phoxinus lævis, common in the streams, lakes, and ponds of Europe + Minnehaha - Hiawatha's girl, whose name means "laughing water."

Proust: À la Recherche du Temps Perdu: Swann's Way

McNeill, John Gordon Swift - Irish politician, writer + eel - a freshwater fish.

gillaroo - a large variety of trout with reddish tinge found in certain Irish rivers and lakes (from Irish giolla ruadh: 'red fellow'). Trouts, which are called gillaroo, are found in Loch Melvin, near Ballyshannon, and Loch Con, near Ballina and differ little from the common trout, except in being of a bright golden yellow on the belly and fins, with more red spots on the sides, and somewhat broader and thicker in form.

purse - the narrow closed part or bag at the lower end of a trawl-net or other fishing net + pursy - breathing laboriously or convulsively + wind - to ause (someone) to have difficulty breathing because of exertion or a blow to the stomach.

karper (Dutch) - carp (a freshwater fish, Cyprinus carpio, the type of the family Cyprinidæ; introduced into England as early as the 14th c., and commonly bred in ponds).

rari nantes (l) - swimming here and there + Virgil: Aeneid I.118: 'Rari nantes in gurgite vasto': 'Here and there are seen swimmers in the vast abyss' + praying mantis.

perch - a common spiny-finned freshwater fish (Perca fluviatilis) of Europe and the British Isles, the flesh of which is used as food + Rods, poles and perches are different names for the same unit. Medieval ploughing was done with oxen, up to 4 pairs at a time. The ploughman handled the plough. His boy controlled the oxen using a stick, which had to be long enough to reach all the oxen. This was the rod, pole or perch.

astench - to assail with stench + astern + tench - a freshwater fish.

naranj (Arabic) - orange

pear + pair (i.e. an orange or two).

lasher - Chiefly local (on the Thames): The body of water that lashes or rushes over an opening in a barrier or weir; hence the opening itself, and by extension, a weir + (notebook 1924): 'lasher (weir)'.

loganstone - a large stone so balanced that it could be rocked with a little force + lonesome.

GBD tobacco pipe + the notes on the 'lines' GBD are between the 'spaces' FACE.

solfanelli (it) - matches + sol-fa scale.

shelly - a shell + shoulders + (tortoiseshell case) + (hands cupped like shells).

Latakia - a fine kind of Turkish tobacco produced near and shipped from Latakia (the ancient Laodicea), a seaport of Syria

benevolent - desirous of the good of others, of a kindly disposition, generous + nuvolo (it) - cloud, cloudy.

nosethrill - a nostril

jealisom - jealous, having jealousy + jessamine - the plant Jasminum officinale, a climbing or ascending shrub with fragrant white flowers, long naturalized in Southern Europe, and grown in England since the 16th c.

wilt - Of plants or their parts: To become limp or flaccid, through heat or drought.

homely + humilis (l) - low, near the earth.

consternation - amazement and terror such as to prostrate one's faculties; dismay

dap - to fish by letting the bait dip and bob lightly on the water; to dip lightly or suddenly into water

Griffeen river, Lucan + My Grief on the Sea (song) [translated from Irish song Mo Bhrón ar an bhFarraige].

burning water - ardent spirit (obs.)

starlight - the light of the stars + (salmons, eels and other fish used to be caught by fishermen armed with spears and torches or lamps). 

sturgeon - a large fish of the family Acipenseridæ, having an elongated, almost cylindrical, body protected by longitudinal rows of bony scutes and a long tapering snout, found widely distributed in the rivers and coastal waters of the north temperate zone + Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin + (notebook 1922-23): 'sturgeon King's trophy'.

armful - as much as can be held in both arms (or in one)

pike - a large, extremely voracious, freshwater fish of the northern temperate zone, Esox lucius, with a long slender snout + by and by.

pie - a dish composed of meat, fowl, fish, fruit, or vegetables, etc. 

twined - that has been twined, in various senses of the verb; twisted, plaited, curled, coiled, wreathed, etc. + O Twine Me a Bower (song).

l'alouette (fr) - the lark + Thomas Moore: Irish Melodies: song Eveleen's Bower: 'Oh! weep for the hour, When to Eveleen's bower'.

nightingales (Slang) - whores

ADELAIDE - A Road, part of South Circular Road between Harcourt and Leeson Streets. It contains the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital + Adelaide, Australia + Adelaide  - Beethoven tenor aria.

juck - to make a sound or call imitated by this word, as a partridge

gamut - the compass or full range of notes which a voice or instrument is capable of producing

twitty - chirping, twittering + 29

Dorian - of Doris or Doria, a division of ancient Greece. 'Dorian mode', in Music, one of the ancient Grecian modes, characterized by simplicity and solemnity + Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray.


chthonic - dwelling in or beneath the surface of the earth + tonic sol-fa - pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing.

solfa - the set of syllables 'do (or ut), re, mi, fa, sol, la, si', sung to the respective notes of the major scale + sophia (gr) - skill, wisdom.

piccolo (it) - small

pipe - to play (a tune, music) upon a pipe; to whistle or sing as a bird

air - connected succession of musical sounds; expressive rhythmical sequence of musical tones; song-like music, melody

sol (it) - alone + (a translation of the "tonic solfa" names of the notes in the scale as an Italian ear might hear them).

si (it) - yes + do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do

spinney - a small wood or copse, esp. one planted or preserved for sheltering game-birds; a small clump or plantation of trees

echoed along + closed a song.


engage + manage (the difficult passages) + Tamagno - tenor.

forte - a musical direction indicating a strong, loud tone in performance + forte (it) - strong.

piange (it) - laments + pianoforte.

cadge - to get by begging; to carry about, as a pedlar does his pack + catch

A Bicycle Built for Two (song)

Mario - tenor

bemolle (it) - flat (music)

diesis (it) - sharp (music) + Mary and Jesus!

McCormack, John (1884-1945) - Irish tenor who went to America, made his pile, became an American citizen, a papal count

latter - hinder, hindmost (obs.)

througher - a thirl put through between two headings which are up-stoop + latter part of my trousers.

lark - With allusion to the lark's habits; e.g. its early song + (Tristan imitated birds in the forest).


fork - a steel instrument with two prongs which, when set in vibration, gives a musical note + fork (Slang) - penis.

naturale (it) - natural (also of music)

discord + misericordia (l) - mercy.

Athlone - the birth-place of John McCormack + Radio Athlone + at home + I'm alone (song from The Lily of Killarney). 

Killarney - the name of a town in Co. Kerry, Ireland + Lily of Killarney - Benedict's opera, based on The Colleen Bawn or "Fair Girl".

flat - in music, a note lowered half a tone below the natural pitch + that's flat - that's the absolute, undeniable truth.

ware - to beware of, guard against; Chiefly in imper. = look out for!

wold - a piece of open country; an elevated tract of open country or moorland; forest (obs.)

gorse - the prickly shrub Ulex europæus + what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander - what is acceptable or pleasing to one person is acceptable or pleasing to another.

lethal - that may or will cause death; deadly, mortal

hemlock - the common name of Conium maculatum, a poisonous umbelliferous plant, having a stout branched stem with purplish spots, finely divided leaves, and small white flowers; it is used medicinally as a powerful sedative + Socrates was executed by being made to drink hemlock + Heim (ger) - home.

logan berry - a fruit produced by crossing a raspberry with a blackberry, or the plant producing it

loathe - to feel aversion or dislike for; to be reluctant or unwilling to (do something). Now only with stronger sense: To have an intense aversion for; to regard with utter abhorrence and disgust.

laburnum - a small tree of the genus so called, esp. L. anagyroides or L. alpinum and their hybrids, bearing long pendulous racemes of bright yellow flowers followed by pods of poisonous seeds.

dash - to strike with violence so as to break into fragments

gaudy - brilliantly fine or gay, highly ornate, showy. Now chiefly in disparaging sense: Excessively or glaringly showy.

deathcup - a very poisonous mushroom (Amanita phalloides)

bryony - the English name of the plant-genus Bryonia (N.O. Cucurbitaceæ)

belladonna - Bot. The specific name of the Deadly Nightshade or Dwale (Atropa  Belladonna) + William Shakespeare: Hamlet I.2.146: 'Frailty, thy name is woman!' + bella dama (Italian) - beautiful lady.

greenwood - a wood or forest when in leaf + telling a Greenwood - lying (after Sir Hamat Greenwood, chief secretary at Dublin Castle from 1920, involved in cover-up of British violence).

birdnest - a name given to several plants: The Wild Carrot; Monotropa Hypophitys; Bird's-nest Orchid + business + BIRD'S NEST INSTITUTION - Now in Blackrock, it was formerly in Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire). A Protestant boys' home for the care and conversion of destitute Roman Catholics.

wage - to put to hazard, venture or risk the loss of

sharp - Of a note, singing, an instrument: Above the regular or true pitch, too high.

double first - (University colloq.): a place in the first class in each of two final examinations in different subjects.

foremost - first, before any other or anything else, in position or rank


LA TOUCHE'S BANK - during 18th and 19th cent, the oldest bank in Ireland. No longer in existence + les touches (fr) - the keys of a piano. 

sink - to invest or spend unprofitably; to lose (money) in unfortunate investment, war, etc.

sumtotal - the total amount (of things capable of numeration)