Sunday, November 28, 2010

O'Carolan's Farewell to music

Carolan, sensing the end was near, traveled back to Mrs. MacDermott. "I have come here after all I have gone through, to die at home at last, where I got my first schooling and my first horse." he said (Mundey-O'Reilling manuscript pp 147--149 quoted in O'Neill p 100). He retired to bed, eventually too weak even to raise himself up after falling out of bed. After falling out of his bed Carolan said, "I would not be surprised at a man falling when walking, but it is a great surprise for a man to fall when lying down." Toward the end Carolan woke from sleep and asked the butler, William Flynn for a drink. After drinking he spoke:

I duly travelled round through Conn's territory
And I found (?) mighty and vigorous there.
By my baptism, for dispensing [drink] I never found
One who quenched my thirst aright but William Flynn.

They were the last words Carolan spoke. He died Saturday, March 25, 1738 at the age of 68, and was buried in the O'Duigenans' church of Kilronan.

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