Keeping Time Throughout the Ages

Keeping Time Throughout the Ages

A Poem by Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

The often tragic tale of the Astronomical clock in Prague...


Keeping Time Throughout the Ages

It was in its time a wonder
Which people flocked to see
And the figures they danced as the clock it rang
In the heart of Prague city.

It was an engineering feat in its time
That made the city proud
But its aldermen were jealous folk
And a copy to be made would not be allowed.

The story goes they hatched a plan
Sent men to his house at night to catch by surprise
And they caught him, bound him, and set their mission to do
They gouged out both his eyes

And now as he could not see
A deed horrific done for prides sake
He would never be able
A better clock for another town to make

But he who laughs last laughs they say
He is the one who laughs well
And he asked one day to go to the clock
So goes the tale they tell

And a lever he removed
Which caused the clock to stop still
And it couldn't be fixed long after he died
For few men had his skill.

Figurines: they dance around the clock face
And some look to chase the moon
As the time is told in many ways
So watchers know if they are too late or too soon

From modern time to Italians hours
To the signs of the zodiac
To the sun and the moon as they orbit the earth
To get all in sequence they had the knack

And on the striking of the hour
A Skeleton of Death rings the bell
To remind us all that time is ticking
Life is not forever... live it well.

The Turk he stands as an infidel
To remind all that though safe they are
And while safe from danger they might now be
The enemy is away not far.

And the vain man looks in a mirror
A trait they then did despise
To warn of vanity and pride
How the world looked in their eyes!

What would they think if they saw today
The fashion stores in the Palladium shops
Which promote beauty and the ego and selfishness
The streets are a fashion parade that never stops

And finally, he stands, they Jew
A warning against usury holding a bag of gold
Those who gave so much to that town
What a fate for them was yet to be told

And after that horrific holocaust
The image of the Jew they felt change they must
So they shaved off his beard, he was a Jew no more
Now it was politically correct and just!

The clock it grew with each century
They added to it something new
One wonders in this digital age
What more to it can they do?

And though old and technologically plain
Because of its history and fame
People watch and wonder as it works
Like those centuries before... the same...

The Astronomical Clock is a must see if ever one is in Prague.

Of legends many, it was the cutting edge of technology in It's day, for which its designer paid with his eyesight.

© 2010 Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register


true, many things going on the world, different people with their prides, selflessness, and watch how things turn out each day. love ur writing, keep up.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The story is old and could be true. However I like to think (as do most of would)the better. Well done

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well that was a terrific tale of the clock. Well done. I am highly impressed. Bravo!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


3 Reviews
Added on June 28, 2010
Last Updated on June 28, 2010


Tomás Ó Cárthaigh
Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Renmore, Galway, Ireland, An Roinne Mór, Gallaimh, Eire, Ireland

Ten years on this site... a quick decade, and an age in another way... Flanagan and the Lampost The Novena, some Drama and Midge Ure in Galway Fiddling at Longford Donkey Innovat.. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..

True Love True Love

A Poem by rose