Deserted Village

My friend Matthew McGrath of Rostrevor has recorded a CD which includes a lovely song, his own composition, Spirit of the Village. This tells how he was personally affected on seeing the Deserted Village on the slopes of Slieve More in Achill Island.

The following poem by Richard Ryan is on the same theme.

Famine Village by Richard Ryan

This maze of stones which the wind cut and hones

Smooth now, was in another century

The houses of famine fishermen, where bones

Long scattered, now without a memory

Have fertilized this bramble wilderness

Of grass and thistles reaching to the knee

Which press upward and thicken, and caress

The naked chimneys and the broken walls

Breathing the sea-mist and the emptiness.

Where once children played, now only gulls calls

Echo and die slowly across the wide

Wild curve of sand to where the mountain falls

Into the sea. From the sick land they tried

To work the tide; they lived a life-long fight

To live, and lost to graves on Slieve More’s side.

Now a grey rain thickens the fading light.

Slowly the ruins become the mist and

Merge silently with the descending night.




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