The Web of Linen

Based on a folk take of the Carty (as Carthy should be spelled!!!) family, told to the Irish Folklore Commission, Eileen’s great grandfather is probably one the the three brothers from the Three Houses Field my dad spoke of…

Cairn Hill in Longford
Cairn Hill in Longford

The night is dark as nights be dark
Neath where children asleep dream
To Ceilidh across as Golden’s
The man set to cross the stream

That babbled and flowed and border marked
As dusk and dawn do night from day
This little stream as on it flowed
Divided Lislea from Aughagreagh…

Just as through the waters to make his way
The strangest spectre was seen
A web of the finest lined cracked the air
Where before no web had been…

It shook in the air by ghostly hands
From nothing it had appeared…
In fright as he stepped back in the darkened night…
The web of linen disappeared!

Shaken, down the stream he walked
Being the most determined of men
He set his foot into the waters to step
To by the linen web be confronted again!

What was this spectre, this cracking noise
That waved the woven linen in his face
Where before he never the likes had seen
In this well to him known place?

He blessed himself and heeded the sign
To his own home we went
Under his own roof with his kin
That ghostly night he spent.

On the breaking of the morrow
When the sky with light had filled
He heard from neighbours of a fight
A man in Golden’s was killed!

Was it a guardian angel
That the web of linen in his face had waved?
Or an ancestor looking down on his own
That possibly his life had saved?

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