Winifred Mabel Letts

(1882-1972 / England)

The Kerry Cow - Poem by Winifred Mabel Letts

IT'S in Connacht or in Munster that yourself might travel wide,
And be asking all the herds you'd meet along the countryside,
But you'd never meet a one could shew the likes of her till now,
Where she's grazing in a Leinster field my little Kerry cow.

If herself went to the cattle fairs she'd put all cows to shame,
For the finest poets of the land would meet to sing her fame;
And the young girls would be asking leave to stroke her satin coat;
They'd be praising and caressing her, and calling her a dote.

If the King of Spain gets news of her he'll fill his purse with gold,
And set sail to ask the English King where she is to be sold.
But the King of Spain may come to me, a crown upon his brow,
It is he may keep his golden purse and I my Kerry cow.

The priest maybe will tell her fame to the Holy Pope of Rome,
And the Cardinals' College send for her to leave her Irish home;
But it's heart-broke she would be itself to cross the Irish sea,
'Twould be best they'd send a blessing to my Kerry cow and me.

When the Ulster men hear tell of her, they'll come with swords an' pikes,
For it's civil war there'll be no less if they should see her likes,
And you'll read it in the paper of the bloody fight there's been,
An' the Orangemen they're burying in fields of Leinster green.

There are red cows that's contrary, and there's white cows quare and wild,
But my Kerry cow is biddable, an' gentle as a child.
You may rare up kings and heroes on the lovely milk she yields,
For she's fit to foster generals to fight our battle-fields.

In the histories they'll be making they've a right to put her name
With the horse of Troy and Oisin's hounds and other beasts of fame.
And the painters will be painting her beneath the hawthorn bough
Where she's grazing on the good green grass my little Kerry cow.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010

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