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Short poem

J. M. Synge (1871-1909)


              1One night a score of Erris men,
              2A score I'm told and nine,
              3Said, "We'll get shut of Danny's noise
              4Of girls and widows dyin'.

              5"There's not his like from Binghamstown
              6To Boyle and Ballycroy,
              7At playing hell on decent girls,
              8At beating man and boy.

              9"He's left two pairs of female twins
            10Beyond in Killacreest,
            11And twice in Crossmolina fair
            12He's struck the parish priest.

            13"But we'll come round him in the night
            14A mile beyond the Mullet;
            15Ten will quench his bloody eyes,
            16And ten will choke his gullet."

            17It wasn't long till Danny came,
            18From Bangor making way,
            19And he was damning moon and stars
            20And whistling grand and gay.

            21Till in a gap of hazel glen --
            22And not a hare in sight --
            23Out lepped the nine-and-twenty lads
            24Along his left and right.

            25Then Danny smashed the nose of Byrne,
            26He split the lips on three,
            27And bit across the right hand thumb
            28Of one Red Shawn Magee.

            29But seven tripped him up behind,
            30And seven kicked before,
            31And seven squeezed around his throat
            32Till Danny kicked no more.

            33Then some destroyed him with their heels,
            34Some tramped him in the mud,
            35Some stole his purse and timber pipe,
            36And some washed off his blood.

. . .

            37And when you're walking out the way
            38From Bangor to Belmullet,
            39You'll see a flat cross on a stone
            40Where men choked Danny's gullet.


1] Erris: the barony in the northwest region of country Mayo.

5] Binghamstown: coastal town in Mayo.

6] Boyle and Ballycroy: market town in county Roscommon, and a small town north of Mullaranny.

10] Killacreest: unidentified.

11] Crossmolina: town in county Mayo.

14] the Mullet: the peninsula in northwest Mayo between Broadhaven and Blacksod Bay.

18] Bangor: Bagor Erris, a town near Belmullet.

38] Belmullet: town in Mayo.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The works of John M. Synge (Dublin: Maunsel, 1910). del S993 A1 1910 Fisher Rare Book Library.
First publication date: 1910
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13

Composition date: 1907
Form: ballad
Rhyme: abcb

Other poems by J. M. Synge