In the original Irish poem, the blind poet Séamus Dall Mac Cuarta (1647 to 1733) bemoaned the fact that the new Scottish settlers in South Ulster were less welcoming to the travelling poets and musicians than the Gaelic chieftains who were there before the plantation. Séamus likened the newcommers to badgers, who hid themselves away. I have kept the essence of the poem, but omitted the reference to the badgers, which would be less meaningful in our modern times. It is one of a thousand poems, going back to the earliest times, where travelling bards, whose livelihood consisted in receiving generosity from the households they visited, lashed out at unwelcoming patrons.

Lonely the homes of Corrakit;
Miserable its men and women.
They have neither joy nor wit,
And hate to spend a shillin'.


There is no music in their homes,
No harp, or flute, or fiddle.
To travelling bards they close their doors,
Disdainful and uncivil.


They pout and pray and wish to be
Alone in their misery.

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