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BAINNE ‘DHUBA NA FÉILE’ Máirtín Ó Cadhain 1906 - 1970
THE MILK OF THE GENEROUS WEE BLACK COW
I once had a little cow, her name was ‘generous Blackie’
She wouldn’t put mouth to ground but she’d give ‘milk’ to hundreds,
Peace and friendliness she could create between England and Ireland,
And you’ll have to admit not many could do that.
Oh! Woman of the inn, I beg you help my plight,
Give me some of Blackie’s milk, to help me through the night.
With a fire kept kindled under her and the flames licking all around,
And sure don’t the laws of England and Ireland allow you
To keep any useful cow that gives you milk.
If you took a drop of it first thing in the morning,
Sure you’d make short work of the snakes.
It would set tinkers, beggars and merchants at each other’s throats.
And old women, when they taste it, would start selling things that had never been made.
And old fellows would be on top of the world thinking it the quare stuff.
Priests and Brothers are tasting the odd drop,
So are the bishop and Pope, to say nothing of the Protestant Ministers.
So are the Earls and powerful Lords, not forgetting their fancy women.
Who’d be out milking ‘Generous Blackie’ at all times of the day!
The ‘Sequel’ gang, the Warrantmen, Orangemen and Quakers,
If they all came to kill you with swords in their hands,
Just give them each a noggin and damn the big of danger you’ll be in,
For neighbours, isn’t wee Blackie’s Milk a blessed thing!
Didn’t the boul’ Mr Roche buy a cow at the fair,
For three guineas and a bright crown as an advance.
She’ll last till the end of eternity
So wasn’t that a good fair-day bargain he got!
Máirtín Ó Cadhain 1906 - 1970
THE BLACK CATTLE OF DURZY ISLAND
Several centuries since, a family residing on Durzy Island, off Bantry Bay, found a beautiful little coal-black bull and cow on a verdant spot near the beach. The cow furnished sufficient butter and milk for all domestic wants, and next year a calf was added to the number. When this youngster was come to the age of affording additional support to the family, a wicked servant girl, one day milking the parent cow, so far forgot herself as to strike the gentle beast with the spancel, and curse her bitterly. The outraged animal turned round to the other two, who were grazing at some distance, and lowed to them in a sorrowful tone, and immediately the three moved rapidly off to the sea. They plunged in, and forthwith the three rocks, since known as the Bull, Cow, and Calf, arose, and continue to this day to protest against the wickedness and ingratitude of cross-grained servant girls.
Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts 1866, by Patrick Kennedy 1801-1873.
Note about the author.
Patrick Kennedy is credited as being part of a very small group of authors who revived Irish Folklore in the 19th Century. He feared that the stories about events in Ireland from previous centuries he listened to in his childhood, could be lost in time, and published Legendary Fictions and other books to preserve them forever.