[From Manx Soc vol 16]
A LEGEND OF THE ISLE.
This legend was written by Miss Esther Nelson, and was published in the Island Minstrelsy, 1839. The publican's hovel, in which so many dark deeds were perpetrated, is now completely dilapidated, only one gable remaining, which may still be seen at the junction of the four roads between Ballamoor and Craig.
I REDE ye beware of the Carrasdoo men
As ye come up the wold!
Oh, I rede ye beware of the Curragh glen!
For he that will dare it, comes not again
In whispers his fate is told.
In Yorby glen the peat lies deep;
In Yorby glen dark secrets sleep ;
In Yorby glen the pools are black;
But dead men's spirits will come back,
And, shrieking, point to far beneath,
Where the dark men hurl'd them unto death.
Above that dismal Stygian swamp
Glooms the red willow dark and damp;
And well I ween the peasant tells,
Soon as a footstep wanders near,
With fearful whoop and hideous yells
Those demons of an hundred hers
Assail the soul with deadly fear.
Well may he rue the path that led
Whilst missiles hurl around his head-
His luckless footstep so to stray
So near unto their dismal den;
And deeply vow that, night or day,
He ne'er shall tempt the strath again.
The Carrasdoo men were a fearful race,
A band of borderers none might trace;
Whose band or lineage no one knew
In the wild lone isle wherein they grew;
But in the empire of old M'Lear
None could in vice with them compare.
In Yorby Curragh they dwelt alone,
By dark peat-bogs where the willows moan;
Down in a gloomy and lonely glen
Those gloomy, savage, and unknown men
Passed long, long ages in vice and sin;
And the dark pits swallowed the victims in.
There lay a lone hut by a lone wayside,
A publican's hovel ;-but woe betide
The wretch whom thirst or weariness led
Into the dark and pestiferous shed;
For to drink there once, was to drink no more;
And there came no tales from the dark trap-door.
It was vain to murmur, or vain to seek;
The assassin's steel none saw to reek;
None saw of murder one fearful trace
No scream were heard. in that lonely place
The potion was potent, the trap-door sure,
And the deep peat-bogs were a shrine secure.
Who has not heard of the pedlar-boy?
Who has not heard of the child's decoy
Into that mirky murder-pit,
With his lightsome heart and his hard-earned pack?
Alas! he never returned from it;
And, ere the shadows of midnight flit,
He is lying down deep in the pool so "black.
The potion through every vein woryd well;
There were none to warn him, or none to tell
So down he went, to that hour of gloom,
Into a horrid unreeked-of tomb.
The monsters' lemans were comely to see
In their Keeir lheeah, o'ashyr 'yn, and stout linsey
But comely in o'ashyr'yn, and good Keeir lheeah:
What! were they bedecked in the pedlar's gear?
Ugh cha nee ! for the pedlar-boy !
Two bright gold guineas were all his store;
But that little store was a fund of joy;
Alas for him! - they are his no more.
If the Carrasdoo women were comely to see,
With their wild dark eyes and unbraided hair
And the corkan pinnings,-oh I what would they be
With the golden brooch and the ribands fair?
Ugh cha nee! for the pedlar-child!
With his guineas bright and his little pack:
His mother blessed him, and fondly smiled:-
She blessed him,-but, oh I he never came back!
Alas! what must that lone widow do,
Bereft, bereft of her only Lhian-noo?
Alas, alas! for the pedlar-boy!
Six weary nights did she watch and weep;
For how-how could the poor mother sleep!
While her cherished darling, her only joy,
Was wandering, wandering-oh, how far!'
But she knew not he slept 'neath the Ullymar.
Oh, I rede ye beware of the Carrasdoo men
As ye come up the wold!
I rede ye beware of the haunted glen,
Be ye ever so brave and bold.
For the Carrasdoo man hath a stony heart,
And he acteth a terrible, horrible part;
And he smiteth-O heavens! so he smiled on the boy,
When the potion is working his will to destroy.
Beware I oh, beware of the haunted glen!
Oh, I rede ye beware of the Carrasdoo men!
Who has not heard of the young Adair?
Who has not heard of the Irish youth?
Who does not know that his face was fair?
Who does not know that his soul was truth ?
Come with me to that gloomy lair;
Look on the pale face and clotted hair;
Whose is the corpse with the cloven skull?
Whose? -for it still is beautiful;
Ask not:-Adair may return no more
To his Irish cot and his cabin door.
There was not a maid in the whole northside,
But glad would have been to be Adair's bride;
And sooth, it is nothing but just to tell,
No Manninagh knew him but loved him well.
Alas! it is sin and shame to say
That Adair did become the dark men's prey.
Vain all men's thoughts and conjectures were;
There were none to track them, or none to tell,
But crime was afloat on each midnight air,
Though none could discover the how or the where,
Or seek out the dens where the dark men dwell;
But those dismal haunts were all secresy.
Who so bold as would venture there to see,
Or breathe suspicion? The slightest word
Sighed unto silence, or scarcely spoken,
Had gathered around him the bandit horde;
For there was no trace, and there was no token.
Then who so bold as would venture there?
Who, but the beautiful, brave Adair?
Arm~d bands had been up the glen;
Arm~d bands had defied the danger;
But all was fair in the fiendish den,
Ay, fair spake the wily dark men to the stranger;
But ere they were clear from the gloomy strath,
There was blood-ay, blood-in their fated path.
It was not a weapon, it was not a dart,
Nor a gunshot wound, nor a flying ball;
But death smote the bravest ; his manly heart
Beat once; 'twas over :-they saw him fall;
He died without murmur or dying moan ;
There was buried deep in his brow a stone.
Sooth, it was fearful and strange to tell,
So truly, fearfully worked the spell;
How the pebble was winged with such fatal power
None knew, or may know till their dying hour;
None saw it hurled, and none saw it strike;
The Manninagh never had known the like;
The Manninagh never had known such doom,
For all seemed marked for the Curragh tomb.
Adair, like a lion, was strong and fierce;
Adair, like a lion, was proud and free
His brave heart panted to seek, to pierce
The secret dens of their savagery,
Boldly the youth defied the crew
He sought the haunts where the Tuigyn grew;
Dark shadows the Tuig-y-yeeigey cast,
White vapours from the black bog curl'd fast.
What did it matter? or what did he heed?
Ugh cha nee ! he made haste, but no good speed.
The Carrasdoo women were passing fair;
Bright was the eye of most piercing black;
Black as night was the floating hair;
Sooth, there was nothing without to lack;
For the tongue was smooth as oil may be,
And the accents of all were silvery;
And the smile was bland, and the bearing meek,
And rich was the glow on each clear cheek.
Ugh cha nee! for the stranger, whom
Each tongue betrayed. to an early doom.
The Carrasdoo lemans did speak him mild;
In innocence he was all a child:
The Carrasdoo lemans did gently speak;
Adair was brave, and a man, but weak:
Adair was all too noble and good,
To come athwart the murderer's brood.
They seem'd to him-oh! so free from guile,
Rather he'd doubted his mother's smile;
They showed to him so passing pure,
Little reeked he of the dark trap-door!
Pure and beautiful-gentle-good,
So judged he of the serpent-brood.
Ugh cha nee ! for the youth that sleeps
Down where the bitter Ullymar weeps !
Ugh cha nee! for the best of men
Lost in the Tuigey-yeeigey glen!
Ugh cha nee I that a woman's tongue
Ever and ever hath done such wrong !
So did Adam, beguiled, eat;
So did Adam turn out a fool:
The one of Paradise did it cheat;-
The other turn'd into a loathsome pool.
Ugh cha nee! for the Irish youth,
He may never return to his cabin home
Never confide in a smooth tongue's truth:
Oh, I rede ye beware it where'er ye roam!
False as the leman's beamy smiles
Is earth, and earth's pestiferous wiles;
False-false I oh ! there is not a face
That is not as false as the hearts we trace.
Oh! there is a blight but a fatal star
That shines o'er the feathery Ullymar;
And when that cold star hath height and power,
Grim death is abroad, and fate hath her hour.
That star presides o'er the dark Tuigey glen,
It hath brought success to the Carrasdoo men
Its image upon the black pool is gleaming
And then there is sleep that hath no dreaming.
I rede ye beware of the Carrasdoo men,
As ye come up the wold !
Beware of the Tuigey-yeeigey glen!
Fly away-fly away from the loathsome den,
Be ye ever so brave and bold;
For the Ullymar bogs have a hideous slime,
And the Ullymar bogs wear the hue of crime.
And though the lemans may speak ye fair,
Who hath not heard of the young Adair?
Beware I oh, beware of the haunted den !
Beware of the Tuigey-yeeigey glen!
Oh, I rede ye beware of the cold night-star
That shines o'er the fatal Ullymar!
NOTE.-Keeir lhesah-oashyr' yn-Two colours, so
called, woven into cloth by the Manx.
Ugh cha nee!-Woe is me!
Tuig-y-yeeigey-Twig of the ditch.