Ballad telling the fortune of a young man who went to sea, and had
many adventures. The English nautical terms were employed
continually in describing his life on the ship, but the man seemed
to feel that they were not in their place, and stopped short when
one of them occurred to give me a poke with his finger and explain
gib, topsail, and bowsprit, which were for me the most intelligible
features of the poem. Again, when the scene changed to Dublin,
'glass of whiskey,' 'public-house,' and such things were in English.
When the shower was over he showed me a curious cave hidden among
the cliffs, a short distance from the sea. On our way back he asked
me the three questions I am met with on every side - whether I am a
rich man, whether I am married, and whether I have ever seen a
poorer place than these islands.
When he heard that I was not married he urged me to come back in the
summer so that he might take me over in a curagh to the Spa in
County Glare, where there is 'spree mor agus go leor ladies' ('a big
spree and plenty of ladies').
Something about the man repelled me while I was with him, and though
I was cordial and liberal he seemed to feel that I abhorred him.