An english translation of an Irish poem by Raftery the Poet, to commemorate the terrible drowning tragedy that happened in Annaghdown in September 1828.

If my health is spared I’ll be long relating
Of the boat that sailed out from Anach Cuan
And the keening after of mother and father
As the laying out of each corpse was done

Oh King of Graces who died to save us
It was a small affair but for one or two
But a boat-load bravely on a calm sailing
Without storm or rain to be swept to doom

The boat sprang a leak and left all those people
And frightened sheep out adrift on the tide
It beats all telling what fate befell them
Eleven strong men and eight women died

Young boys, they were lying where crops were ripening
From the strength of youth, they were borne away
In their wedding clothes for their wake they robed them
Oh King of Glory, man’s hope is vain

May burning mountains come tumbling downward
On that place of drowning, may curses fall
Full many the soul, it has left in mourning
And left without hope of a bright day’s dawn

The cause of their fate was no fault of sailing
It was the boat that failed them the ‘Caisleán Nua’
And left me to make with a heart that’s breaking
This sad lamentation for Anach Cuan


Photo Credit: PaulKilGill

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