Day 95: Smart Mort

At the Emerald Victorian, Laetitia decided once again to play Loreena McKennitt’s CD Elemental while she planned the day’s tour. The recording had been useful in helping her decide on the day’s tour when they had gone to Kilkenny. On the album is a poem by William Butler Yeats set to music by Loreena McKennitt, calledStolen Child. Yeats had a great interest in Irish mythology and in 1886 wrote this poem about faeries that beguile a child to come away with them to an island.

When she looked into Yeats’ background on the Internet, Laetitia found that he lived in a remodeled and restored sixteenth-century Norman fortified tower house called Thoor Ballylee, located near Gort in County Galway, not far from Burren National Park. The Yeats home and grounds are now open to the public, so Laetitia took her group there, after which they did some more hikes in the park. She found the flat stone slabs and ancient monuments and tombs of the Burren fascinating. Since Laetitia’s tour groups change daily and none of this day’s tour group had been on the previous Burren hike, returning there was not a problem.

Later, when Laetitia and her group were doing a walkabout in Gort, she stopped to talk to a woman who was tending her flowerbed. As a man with an enormous wart on the end of his nose walked by, the woman whispered, “That’s old Mort. He ought to have that thing removed, but he can’t afford to, so he tells everyone it makes him look smart.” Laetitia thanked her and wrote down the limerick of the day.

Quite well-known to the folks around Gort
Was old Mort whose nose sported a wart
And though t’would have behooved
Him to have it removed
He said that it made him look smart.