The Legend of Carne Thierna
From the town of Fermoy, famous for the excellence of its bottled ail, you may plainly see the mountian of Cairn Thierna.
It is crowned with a great heap of stone, which as the county people remark, never came three without a crooked thought and a cross job.
Strange it is, that any work of the good old times should be considered one of labour; for round towers then sprank up like mushrooms in one night,and people played marbles with pieces of rock that can now no more be moved than the hills themselves.
This great pile on the top of Cairn Thierna was caused by the words of an old woman whose bed still reamins 'labacailly', the hags bed not far from the village of Glanworth.
She was certainly far wiser than any woman, either old or young of my immediate acquantance.
Jove defend me, however, fom making an envious comparison between ladies; but facts are stubborn things and legend will prove my assertion.
O Keefe was lord of Fermoy before the Roches came into that part of the county and he had an only son never was there seen a finer child, his young face filled with innocent joy was enogh to make any heart glad, but his father looked on his smiles with sorrow, for an old hag had fortold, that this boy should be drowned before he grew up to manhood.
Now although the prophescies of Pastorini were a failure, it is no reason why prophescies should altogether be despised.
The art in modern times maybe lost, as well as that of making beer out of the mountain heath, which the Danes did to great perfection,but I take it,the malt of Tom Walker is no bad substitute for the one;
and if evil pophescies were to come to pass, like th old womans in my opinion we are far more comfortable without such knowlege.
Infant heir of proud Fermoy,
Fear not fields of slaughter;
Storms of fire fear not , my boy
But shun its fatal water.
These were the warning words which caused the chief of Fermoy so much unhappiness.
His infant son was carefully prevented all approaches to the river Blackwater, and anxious watch was kept over ever playful movement.
The child grew up in strenght and in beauty and every day became more dear to his father, who, hoping to avert this doom, which , however was inevitable, prepared to built a castle far removed from the dreaded element.
The top of Cairn Thierena was the place chosen, and the lords vassels were assembled and employed in collecting materials for that purpose.
Hither came the fated boy; with delight he viewed the laborious work of raising mighty stones from the base to the summit of the mountain, until the vast heap which now forms its rugged crest was accumulated.
The workmen were about to commence the building and the boy who was considered in safetly while on the mountain, was allowed to rove about at will.
In this case, how true are the words ofthe great dramitist,
Put but a little water in a spoon
and it shall be, as all the ocean,
enough to stifle such a being up.
A vessel which contained a small supply of water brought there for the use of the workmen, attaracted the attention of the child.
He saw with wonder, the glitter of the sunbeams witin it; he approached more near to gaze, when a form resembling his own arose before him.
He gave a cry of joy and astonishment, and drew back, the image drew back also and vanished.
Again he approached; again the form appeared, exprssing in every feature delight corresponding with his own.
Eagar to welcome the young stranger, he bent over the vessel to press his lips, and losing his balance, the fatal prohphecy was accomplished.
The father in dispair abandoned the commenced building and the materail reamin as proof of the folly of attemting to avert the course of FATE.
Thomas Crofton Croker
copyright April 6 2011
sourse: Legends and Tales of Ireland , Thomas Crofton Croker,
Simpkins Marshall ,Hamilton, Kent and Co., London
Glascow, Thomas D Morison ,not dated.