Henry Lynn poem from 1937

river near Innisrush and Portglenone

 

The Banks of the Clady

Around the banks of Clady, a lovely place to dwell,
With banks and braes and bonny glens, it’s hard to bid farewell.
I remember when in childhood I sported round it’s glens
With bonny, lads and lasses, we were always best of friends.

But now those days are over, and the time is drawing near,
When I will leave this beautiful spot the ocean wide to steer.
But I’ll not forget my native home when in a foreign land,
Nor the bonny Clady river that flows into the Bann.

I am going to America my fortune there to try,
And leave the banks of Clady; my comrades all, good-bye;
My mother told me to be wise and be an upright man,
And not forget her grey old locks when in a foreign land.

She told me to remember the days of long ago,
When she brought me to this river to see it ebb and flow;
But now I’m on Columbia’s shore and leave her for a while,
And bid adieu to Clady banks and lovely Erin’s Isle.

And when I land on Colombia’s shore and meet the neighbours there,
I’ll tell them of old Clady hanks that are so rich and fair,
I’ll tell them of the Corner which is now almost a town,
With McErlean’s grand houses, no better can be found.

I’ll tell them of the factories and the industry that’s there,
Driven by Clady river that gives Kane’s mill a share.
So, good-bye friends and comrades, I am finished with my song,
I hope you will all pray that I will keep away from wrong.

And when I am in America and at my daily toil,
I’ll not forget these Clady banks where Glenburn waters boil,
Nor my own darling sweetheart that I have left behind,
May God protect and guard her until we are combined.

 

This beautiful poem was written by local man, Henry Lynn.  It was first published in 1937 by the Northern Constitution.

It gives a fascinating glimpse into a moment in time, with references to Teady McErlean’s “grand houses”, as well as Clady Corner which has seen significant new development and the author notes “is now almost a town”.    Kane’s Mill, and Glenburn, also get mentions, as the writer reflects back on his early life and friends, close to the banks of the Clady River.

The poet’s son, Colm, still retains a copy. 

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