Francis Duggan

Death Of A Traveller - Poem by Francis Duggan

With her man she shared the ups and downs of life
And she raised seven children the traveller's wife
By seven Summers she had outlived her man
Though her end was now near she lay dying in her van.

A son and a daughter kept vigil by her bed
She lay there unconscious perhaps by then brain dead
And out on the by road the wintery breeze
Was soughing in the hedgerows and the naked trees.

And in the cold horse drawn van lit by one candle light
The old travelling musician in the dead of the night
She breathed her last in her eighty first year
With two of her children by her sitting near.

In towns through the countryside at many a horse fair
Herself and her husband the musical pair
Played many a tune and sung many a song
To a dying breed of people they surely belong.

I am telling the story as it was told to me
How she died in her van a mile from Knocknagree
One cold night in January fifty years ago
When the wintery winds from the dark hills did blow.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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