The Midlands





No ship cast anchor on its soft bright tide,
But all was silence by its flowery brink,
Save when a dreamer sought its quiet side,
And there on God's bright beauty sat to think.

John Keegan Casey ("Leo") 1846-1870

I crossed tInny at Forigny and rested under the shady woods. I am near Forigny and Pallas, where some of Goldsmith's youth was passed. But it is not Goldsmith's poetry that is in memory now. I am thinking about William MacGeoghegan and "Leo" Casey. Both of them write of the Inny. Goldsmith never did. I remember one of MacGeoghegan's verses:

'Green grows the turf by Inny's side,
And white the daisies spring.
When April cometh forth a bride
To hear the brown thrush sing,
And peeps my bonny gem of blue,
Sweet, pure, forget-me-not,
The sheltering rushes slyly through,
And by that favoured spot
The proud swan sails with open wing.
The water lilies wait
Till Summer's sun to them shall bring
The white robes of their state.'

William Bulfin, 'Rambles in Eirinn' ( 1907), p. 276.

The great mills of MacGann, of Fagan, of Murtagh and others - all busy centres of industry forty years ago - are tenantless, and the owls and bats alone keep guard over the remains of the rust-eaten machinery.

William Bulfin, 'Rambles in Eirinn' (1907),
In the Valley of the Inny

Abandoned mill on river Inny, Co. Longford.


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The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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