river bann

Poem – The Clady River by Harry Armstrong

river bann

The Clady River
By Harry Armstrong

I have been to Derry City, that proudly strides the Foyle
I have walked over Dublin’s Liffey, on my way to see the Dail
At Drogheda I’ve crossed the Boyne, like William long ago
But I’ve never seen a vale so green, as where the Clady’s waters flow

I’ve seen the sights of ancient Cork, in the valley of the Lee
I’ve walked the streets of sweet Belfast, where the Lagan meets the sea
I’ve read the anglers’s praises, of the Moyola and the Roe
But the brown trout sleep and the salmon leap where the Clady’s waters flow

It rises in the Carntogher mountains, from springs that are cool and clear
As it rushes down the hillside, it is music to the ear
As it travels on towards Swatragh, in volume see it grow
As it flows through the peat in this vale so sweet, where the Clady’s waters flow

Through Ringsend and Moneysharvin, towards Upperlands see it run
But here it has been harnessed, there’s work that must be done
It turns the wheels of Lagan’s mill, as through the slush it goes
To scotch the flax in the beat in this vale so neat, where the Clauy’s waters flow

Clark’s dams with water cool and clear, in the winter here it fills
From the snow and rain that falls on the mountain and the hills
To raise the beech-wood beetles, all standing in a row
The linen to beat in this vale so neat, where the Clady’s waters flow

Through the woodlands on it goes, past the fish-farm owned by Bill
Dunglady Bridge comes into view, then the fort upon the hill
Time to take a backward look, for the pace is now soft and slow
To where the fairies meet in this vale so sweet, where the Clady’s waters flow

It meanders on to join the Grillagh, where Ternageeragh and Dreenan meet
This valley it often floods, but when it does retreat
The fertile soil it leaves behind, helps the bumper crops to grow
Of barley and wheat in this vale so sweet, where the Clady’s waters flow

In silence now it passes, through Drumnacanon Bridge,
Where once it’s merry rippling, could be heard over moor and ridge
Gone too is the sandy island, where the moor-cock once did crow
Now seldom seen in this vale of green, where the Clady’s waters flow

Through Drumloolish now and Eden, it can smell an Irish still
As it passes Greenlough Chapel, beside the Gallows Hill
Over the Waterwall it splashes, towards Innisrush to go
The village neat in this vale so sweet, where the Clady’s waters flow

Beneath the footstick over the ford, and past the old flax mill
No time now to take a look, at the Parish Church upon the hill
On towards Clady now it rushes, past Courtanay’s mill where the beeches grow
Here is ground the wheat in the vale so sweet, where the Clady’s waters flow

Near Portglenone it joins the Bann, then onwards to the sea
To return again in the snow and rain, one of God’s great mysteries
To see the Claudy’s endless flow, while you and I must go
To join the friends who sleep on the hillside steep, where the Clady’s waters flow

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