National Folklore Collection
The story on this page has been taken from the Dúchas web site, page http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4658448/4656867/4667095 and pages following. An image of the original manuscript can be viewed on the Dúchas page as well as more detailed information about the informant and recorder of the story.
Copyright and licence information appears at the bottom of this page.
By Master O Rourke, Drumhallowen
Ye jovial tourists who seek the purest
And grandest scenery in the land,
Pray pay attention whilst here I mention
A mode of travelling which will suit you grand.
Not the motor I'm going to vote for,
Nor the premier cycle though all the rage.
But my advice is what'er the price is,
Go buy a ticket on the Narrow Gauge.
Just travel by it, it will take you quiet,
The best company you're sure to meet,
Of donkey dealers and fowl retailers
From Church St, Canaloe and Chapel St.
Now grand Directors, and Line Inspectors
And local Pressmen, so cute and so sage,
All travel gratis, you know what that is,
While others must pay on the Narrow Gauge.
Oh: Nature's charms in all her forms,
All along the line will enchant the view.
St Caillen's gander saw nothing grander
When round through Wicklow all alone he flew.
Moore's Lalla Rook is, (a beautiful book 'tis,)
With blooming, flowers on it's every page.
For Shearon's roses can't match the posies
That decked the borders of the Narrow Gauge.
Green hills and mountains, clear rills and fountains
With its placid lakes-there are hills between.
Monastic ruins, the wicked doings,
Of cursed Cromwell and the Virgin Queen.
Historians tell us what befell us
In the ancient times, persecution's age.
Ere people spoke of a locomotive,
Or knew the comfort of the Narrow Gauge.
Going to Dromod there are still some would
Prefer to sit behind Dooner's grey.
If to Belturbet, they'd surely shun it,
The old brakes seem on all the blessed way.
If to Drumshambo, you by the Tram go,
A slower passage no one could engage.
Jack Redsy's donkey he calls him spunkey.
Could blind K. Edward on the Narrow Gauge.
Ye English loyal may shout disloyal,
So here my meaning I will now define.
King Ned's an engine made in Bengen,
Fair lovely Bengen on the world-famed Rhine.
So John Thornton, (he's a cute and sly one),
May seek promotion by some other stage.
Else, him I'll sentence to due repentance
Of twenty miles on the new Narrow Gauge.
'Twas my intention much more to mention
For half its praises I have not yet sung:
But the baby is balling, Moll is calling,
With click, click, click telegraphic tongue.
But sweet as thrushes in trees and bushes,
And the pet canary in gilded cage,
When I have leisure, I'll sing with pleasure
The countless beauties of the Narrow Gauge.
School: Béal an Átha Móir (B.)
Location: Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim
Teacher: Seán Ó hEslin
No Collector details given
Thanks to Bernadette McGovern who transcribed this and a great many other pages of the The Schools' Collection, from the National Folklore Collection Archives.
Copyright, digital preservation, sensitive material and contact
Under the Creative Commons Licence you are free to:
What does "Attribute this work" mean?