Saturday, December 4, 2010

Poetry Bus Poem - Rebellion

Poetry bus this week is being driven by Kat @ http://hyggedigter.blogspot.com/  And a mighty interesting challenge she has set for us all. 

The idea was to write something rhyming and humorous about our favourite pub or if not a pub, a restaurant.  Anyhow, I thought long and hard, and as with most good ideas, once you stop thinking too much, you find one! So here is the story and the  poem!!

Image from the mid fifties

One part of the house that we live in used to be a public house back in the late part of the 18th century, records go back as far as about 1750 (see image above from about sixty years ago).  Like all good things, it has survived the test of time, even if it isn't a public house anymore.

But back in 1803 when Robert Emmet led his failed Rebellion in Dublin, running from the authorities he and the rebels hid out in a glade near our house, and the following morning they visited the then public house because the owner William Kearney was a known supporter of the cause.  There is no doubt that part of the course of history would have been changed had it not been for the quick thinking of Mrs Kearney when the house was surrounded by Yeomen.

Robert Emmet

Anyway, here is said poem!

They lay in the glen those men in their green,
hoping to God that they wouldn’t be seen.
The moon in the heavens looked down on the night,
as chilled from the air, they wrapped up out of sight.

In morn they arose, refreshed anew,
And wanted to taste some parliamentarian brew.
Kearney a rebel from ‘98,
Opened his door, and bid them to haste.

Emmet and Devlin quietly they spoke,
in secret tones of true rebel folk.
But then Robinson a constable came in for some beer,
From him, the strangers had something to fear.

Had it not been for Kearney he’d have given up his life,
As the men with their blunderbusses had some might.
But still on their tracks was the enemy Robert Shaw,
who wanted his glory for killing an outlaw.

Whilst hid in the loft of the small walled house,
They kept an eye out, huddled as quiet as a mouse.
Across the valley from their hideout they saw,
Ten score men and more, wanting them by the law.

The wife of Kearney she was real quick,
Scared the yeomen off without a stick.
For she gave them a yarn that saved the day,
Leaving Arthur Devlin with the last word to say.

'My blunderbuss was loaded, ready good and fair,
Shaw was lucky his family wasn’t made barren of heir'.
Away the brave men parted from their upper mountain glade,
To find other hideouts and seek some more aid.

Before the men left, Emmet gave Kearney his coat,
In thanks for what he had done, to help him the most.
No sooner did the rebels leave the public house for the day,
But Mrs Kearney piped up ‘no bloody way’.

It was she after all, who'd saved the men where they laid,
And a rebel’s coat, was the high price to be paid.
The lady she looked very spiff in her green,
But sadly of course, she could never be seen!


  1. Loved this, Socks! Mrs. Kearney sounds like a formidable woman. You know, my great-gran was a Margaret Kearney from the Mountains of Mourne. I wonder if we're related?

    Great poem and story and what a fantastic home you must have!


  2. Thanks Kat,

    Everybody is related to everybody in this little island of ours!!! Just posted a pic of the cottage from back in the 50's, not sure if you seen it on your last visit, but it is not quite so run down anymore!!!

  3. Great history in that and a rousing story .Love it!

  4. Cheeers! Ms. Kearney ... cheers!

  5. Thanks Gerry & Helen, here's hoping Ms Kearney with her good yarns still haunts the house and helps make me a better storyteller! Girl Power she had for sure!

  6. I second TFE's rebel yell! I very much enjoyed this, Socks, and I think it begs for music. A fitting tribute to the bold Mrs. Kearney!

  7. Fun - a prize that could not be paraded in public, but nevertheless, a prize!

    I love the intertwining of history here. Well done.

  8. Cheers TFE,Carolina Linthead & SouthLakesMom.

    We all need a good old rebel yell every now and again. As for putting it to music, I'll leave that to others more talented than I in that area. Although there are ballads about the Kearneys but none about Mrs Kearney!!

  9. How refreshing to have a rebel hero of the feminine persuasion for once. Good on yer, Mrs Kearney

  10. Wow! History, rhyme, heroism and the word 'spiff'! Who could, truly, ask for more.
    And you live there!

  11. Thanks Peter, indeed good old mrs kearney!

    Thanks Titus, yeap 'spiff' was a good one!

  12. Great story, and Mrs Kearney may have been the start of a long tradition of fiesty women to inhabit that place in the hills!!

  13. Thanks Niamh, I'll do my best to keep up tradition!

  14. Well, what an epic! Our offereing is much shorter, but not necessarily sweeter?! :)

  15. Great poem and story! William Kearney's sister Mary is my 4th great grandmother. I hope to visit Ireland some day and see their homeland
    Rose Carty

  16. Thanks Rose. If you want to email me, the address is on the site. I would really like to hear more about how you found out about your 4th great grandmother connection.


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