Francis Carlin


b. Co. Tyrone, 1881; best-known as the author of “The Ballad of Douglas Bridge”, a poem about the raparee Count Redmond O’Hanlon; he later lived in New York and was found a job in Macey’s by Mary Colum.

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“The Ballad of Douglas Bridge” [as infra]; also Do. [longer version], with “Beyond Rathkelly” and “The Provinces” [attached].

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See Benedict Kiely, Drink to the Bird (London: Methuen 1991), pp.126-27.

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The Ballad of Douglas Bridge

On Douglas Bridge I met a man
Who lived adjacent to Strabane,
Before the English hanged him high
For riding with O’Hanlon.

The eyes of him were just as fresh
As when they burned within the flesh,
And his boot-legs were wide apart
From riding with O’Hanlon.

“God save you, Sir,” I said with fear,
“You seem to be a stranger here,”
“Not I” said he, “nor any man
Who rides with Count O’Hanlon.”

On Douglas Bridge we parted, but
The Gap o’ Dreams is never shut
To one whose saddled soul tonight
Rides out with Count O’Hanlon.

Rep. in Alice Curtayne, The Irish Story: A Survey of Irish History and Culture (Dublin: Clonmore & Reynolds 162),, p.113. See also the longer [unselected] version in Anthology of Irish Verse (NY: Boni & Liveright 1922) - as infra.

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