A Threatening Letter, 1842

By Emma Begley, 5th Year

Object No. 80 'Captain Rock' threatening letter, 1842
National Library of Ireland

The year was 1842, 

The famous famine was coming, 

I just didn’t know it yet. 

My house was homely 

But too small for my large family. 

And my rent was due.

Black Anthony was the lethal landlord, 

You can tell by his name he was no saint. 

He lived in the town-land of Ballinamore, 

Unfortunately so did I. 

The man was hard-hearted and despicable,

The only thing he loved was money. 

And I was unlucky enough    

To owe him some.

I thought he might let me off For a while. 

But pity was not in his vocabulary. 

I bought the kids some corn, 

Instead of paying him. 

I felt it in my bones 

It wouldn’t end well. 

But little did I know 

Not one of my darlings 

Would be breathing  

Five years later.

One week later 

I received a threatening letter. 

I was Australia bound 

To a prison A.K.A. hell. 

As I bade my wife goodbye, tearfully,  

I swore I would return. 

And after thirty years 

Of back breaking labor, 

Under a sun that tried to kill me, 

I kept my promise. 

But I’ll have to wait for Heaven to see her, 

For I was thirty years too late.

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