The skylark sing above the bracken hill
That voice once heard one never can mistake
And sunlight down the silent mountain steal
And light the dark waters of Kippagh lake.
The lake trout to the shallow waters swim
They like to feel the warmth of the sun
And tiny rill that has spring as it’s source
Down from the mountain through the bracken run.
In centuries gone i heard old woman say
The Gaelic bards to Kippagh mountain came
And found the inspiration for their songs
In land too wild and rough for man to tame.
They sang their songs but never wrote them down
And the bards have gone and with them died their fame
And old culture gone and people have changed too
But Kippagh mountain lake still look much the same.
I know of a lake surrounded by high hills
Where gaelic minstrel sang his final lay
A place too high and wild for man to tame
Beyond the seas thousands of miles away.
“Kippagh Mountain Lake” is by Francis Duggan.
Kippagh Lake is a glacial lake located between Kippagh Mountain and Curracahill, and is close to the Balagh which is the road around the back of Clara Mountain. [google maps]
Francis Duggan refers to the stream that flows from the lake as “the Cails”. On google maps, it’s referred to as the “River Owennagleo” (maybe should be the Annagloor). Whichever, it flows from the lake and continues under the Millstreet-Killarney road just before Ballydaly, and winds its way to meet the Finnow about 500m south-west of Millstreet Railway Station.
Here is Francis’ take on the river:
Where The Cails Waters Flow
On the bed of the river pools where the green river weed grow
The otters chase trout where the Cails waters flow
Through Annagloor, Shannaknock, Liscreagh and further down
Where it joins the Finnow west of old Millstreet Town.
From the lake by Kippagh mountain it begins as a rill
And through the gorse and the bracken it babbles downhill
Down through Ballydaly it journeys along
With it’s silver tongue and it’s babbling song.
Through the old rushy fields of the green countryside
Where the timid brown hare in the daylight hours hide
From those who might harm her she fitfully sleep
And one ear pricked up for safety she does keep.
For centuries before the river had a name
And for centuries before the first humans came
To Duhallow and brought with them their farm animals goat, sheep, horse and cow
The Cails from the hills flowed down to the Finnow.
Through Feirm in Ballydaly by many a hedgerow
On towards Annagloor with a babble it does flow
On to the Finnow and Blackwater on it’s way to the sea
The river from Kippagh flows eternally.