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Daily Poem – The Fiddler of Dooney

October 24, 2014

WHEN I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Moharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time,
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With ‘Here is the fiddler of Dooney!’
And dance like a wave of the sea.

Written and recited by William Butler Yeats

“A couple of miles from Innisfree, no four or five miles from Innisfree, there’s a great rock called Dooney Rock where I had often picnicked when a child. And when in my 24th year I made up a poem about a merry fiddler I called him ‘The Fiddler of Dooney’ in commemoration of that rock and of all those picnics. The places mentioned in the poem are all places near Sligo.”

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