Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25-Ireland Revisited-Yeats Tower

Thoor (Tower) Ballylee was the home of Irish poet William Butler Yeats from 1917 to 1929. A poem inscribed by the door:

I, the poet, William Yeats,
With common sedge and broken slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George.

Gort is about four miles from the tower - a 16th century Norman castle built by the family de Burgo (Burke). The tower was restored again in the 1960s and is now a museum. Yeats wife was Bertha Georgina Hyde-Lees.

I wrote in my journal about signs in Ireland being very specific as to what kind of animals to watch for: "caution cows crossing" or "caution cows and sheep crossing." For the most part, cows were well-mannered, entering the roadway and immediately moving to the left side of the road, where slow-moving vehicles are supposed to be. In Ireland, like the UK, the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle and traffic travels on the left, passing on the right. In the west, there was less traffic so cows needed a little coaxing, especially with young ones in the mix.

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