Emigrants Teapot

By Muireann Griffin, 2nd year.

Object No. 82 Emigrant's teapot, late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century
National Museum of Ireland - Country Life

Up on the shelf alone I stand,

Nothing special, no leader of the land.

Used by people of every class,

Made with any old tin or brass.

 

Packed in a suitcase to go far across the sea,

Along with my greatest partner, a bag of Lyons tea.

On my journey over the ocean I’ll go,

New people to meet, new customs to know.

 

My last goodbye, my final farewell,

In foreign lands I soon will dwell.

For the place I’ve known is out of sight,

It is all the fault of the potato blight.

 

Children cry, coffin ships a groan,

Nothing left of most only skin and bone.

There’d be nothing nicer than a warm cup of tea,

Lucky for them it is my speciality.

 

“Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free”,

People see her now the statue of liberty.

I’ve arrived now America, a new life is here,

As long as there’s tea, we’ve nothing to fear.

 

 

Up on the shelf alone I will stay,

Thinking of others so far away.

Back home in Ireland without even a stove,

Nothing of their own, nothing to hold.

Just the whistle of the kettle filling the air,

Up on my shelf, without a care.

Water boiling, music to my ears,

Emigrating’s a memory, looking back through the years.

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