Stories of Red Hanrahan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Stories of Red Hanrahan.

Of a sudden his singing stopped, and his eyes grew misty as if he was looking at some far thing.

Mary Gillis was pouring whiskey into a mug that stood on a table beside him, and she left off pouring and said, ’Is it of leaving us you are thinking?’

Margaret Rooney heard what she said, and did not know why she said it, and she took the words too much in earnest and came over to him, and there was dread in her heart that she was going to lose so wonderful a poet and so good a comrade, and a man that was thought so much of, and that brought so many to her house.

‘You would not go away from us, my heart?’ she said, catching him by the hand.

‘It is not of that I am thinking,’ he said, ’but of Ireland and the weight of grief that is on her.’  And he leaned his head against his hand, and began to sing these words, and the sound of his voice was like the wind in a lonely place.

  The old brown thorn trees break in two high over Cummen Strand
  Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand;
  Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies,
  But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes
  Of Cathleen the daughter of Hoolihan.

  The winds was bundled up the clouds high over Knocknarea
  And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say;
  Angers that are like noisy clouds have set our hearts abeat,
  But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
  Of Cathleen the daughter of Hoolihan.

  The yellow pool has overflowed high upon Clooth-na-Bare,
  For the wet winds are blowing out of the clinging air;
  Like heavy flooded waters our bodies and our blood,
  But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood
  Is Cathleen the daughter of Hoolihan.

While he was singing, his voice began to break, and tears came rolling down his cheeks, and Margaret Rooney put down her face into her hands and began to cry along with him.  Then a blind beggar by the fire shook his rags with a sob, and after that there was no one of them all but cried tears down.


One fine May morning a long time after Hanrahan had left Margaret Rooney’s house, he was walking the road near Collooney, and the sound of the birds singing in the bushes that were white with blossom set him singing as he went.  It was to his own little place he was going, that was no more than a cabin, but that pleased him well.  For he was tired of so many years of wandering from shelter to shelter at all times of the year, and although he was seldom refused a welcome and a share of what was in the house, it seemed to him sometimes that his mind was getting stiff like his joints, and it was not so easy to him as it used to be to make fun and sport through the night, and to set all the boys laughing with his pleasant talk, and to coax the women with

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Stories of Red Hanrahan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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