(Poem #266) The Litany for Doneraile
Alas! how dismal is my tale, I lost my watch in Doneraile. My Dublin watch, my chain and seal, Pilfer'd at once in Doneraile. My Fire and Brimstone never fail To fall in show'rs on Doneraile. My all the leading Fiends assail The thieving Town of Doneraile. As light'ning's flash across the vale, So down to Hell with Doneraile. May Beef or Mutton, Lamb or Veal, Be never found in Doneraile, But Garlic Soup and scurvy Cale Be still the food for Doneraile. May Heav'n a chosen Curse entail On rigid rotten Doneraile. May Sun and Moon for ever fail To beam their lights on Doneraile. May ev'ry pestilential Gale Blast that curs'd spot called Doneraile. May no Cuckoo, Thrush, or Quail, Be ever heard in Doneraile. May Patriots, Kings, and Commonweal, Despise and harass Doneraile. May ev'ry Post, Gazette and Mail, Sad tiding bring of Doneraile. May profit light and tardy sale Still damp the Trade of Doneraile. May not one wish or pray'r avail To soothe the woes of Doneraile. May th'Inquisition straight impale The Rapparies of Doneraile. May curse of Sodom now prevail And sink to ashes Doneraile. May Charon's Boat triumphant sail Completely Mann'd from Doneraile. May ev'ry churn and milking pail Fall dry to staves in Doneraile. May vengeance fall at head and tail, From North to South at Doneraile. May Egypt's plagues at once prevail To thin the Knaves of Doneraile. May frost & snow, and sleet & hail Benumb each joint in Doneraile. May wolves & bloodhounds trace & trail The cursed crew of Doneraile. May Oscar with his fiery flail To Atoms thresh all Doneraile. May ev'ry mischief fresh and stale Abide henceforth in Doneraile. May all from Belfast to Kinsale Scoff, curse, and damn you, Doneraile. May want and woe each joy curtail That e'er was known in Doneraile. May not one Coffin want a nail That wraps a rogue in Doneraile. May all the Sons of Granaweal Blush at the thieves of Doneraile. May Curses wholesale and retail Pour with full force on Doneraile. Oh! may my Couplets never fail To find new cures for Doneraile.
A wonderful Irish curse, full of fire, brimstone and enthusiasm. Whatever the poet may have lacked for, it certainly wasn't inspiration, and the couplet form, ending every second line with 'Doneraile', brings out his ire beautifully. The fact that he paid to have it printed (see note) suggests the incident is true - ah, the fine art of wrathful vengenace :) m. Note: Seamus Cooney, whose page I found this on, says 'A vigorous example by a little-known early 19th century author (1754-1835?), who paid to have it printed in 1812.' -- [broken link] http://www.wmich.edu/english/tchg/lit/pms/curses.html I couldn't find a biography of O'Kelly's - 'little known' appears to have been accurate, and a web search came up with nothing. If you know anything about him, do write in.