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Letter More, Ballynakill Harbour, County Galway, Ireland 

A Curse on a Closed Gate
By James H. Cousins (From the Irish)

 BE THIS the fate
 Of the man who would shut his gate
 On the stranger, gentle or simple, early or late.
 When his mouth with a day’s long hunger and thirst would wish
 For the savour of salted fish, 
 Let him sit and eat his fill of an empty dish.
 To the man of that ilk,
 Let water stand in his churn, instead of milk
 That turns a calf’s coat silk.
 And under the gloomy night 
 May never a thatch made tight
 Shut out the clouds from his sight.
 Above the ground or below it,
 Good cheer, may he never know it,
 Nor a tale by the fire, nor a dance on the road, nor a song by a wandering poet.
 Till he open his gate
 To the stranger, early or late,
 And turn back the stone of his fate. 


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(c) 2001 Don Schwager