Laurel’s Fall

Many tales inherit the emerald isle
some are more tragic than others.
Along the coast from the Cliff of Moher
there is a small inlet cove with steep cliffs
known today as Laurel’s Fall.


During the potato famine that swept across
the Irish Shore from 1845 t0 1852.
Newlyweds John and Annie Laurel
had a small holding not far from the fall
which they tended daily.


Poor and starving by the famine
many immigrated to the land
they had heard where the pavements were lined with gold.
Desperate John left to find work
promising to write every day until the ship took to sea.


The letters stopped arriving
and the days grew into weeks
and then into months.
The neighbours always asked
if she had heard from John. Always she would shake her head.


Knowing a sea passage took months,
Annie did not worry too much
and went on with her daily chore
to eke out a little money
so that she could eat
and always hoping a letter would arrive.


The months turned into years
and she wondered when and if
she would ever hear from her beloved John again,
then one day news arrived
the ship John sailed on was lost at sea.


Heartbroken she carried on
always hoping he had survived.
Then one stormy night
she thought she hears his voice.
Grabbing a lamp followed the sound,
but before she could reach it.


A gust of wind came up
and swept her from her feet
carrying her over the cliff
down to the rocks below
where she was found after the tide receded the following day.


The tragedy does not end there.
A month later John returned.
He had been rescued by a passing ship and spent two years at sea.
Now he came home to find Annie,
his wife and life was no longer there.


Each time the wind howled he went out searching for her.
Then one evening he thought he could heard
her cries calling him and went out looking for her.
A gust of wind swept him from his feet
just like his beloved wife.


When they found him the following morning
they named the spot Laurel’s Fall
in memory of him and his wife.
It is said on some moonlit nights
you can see them walking together
near the cliff of Laurel’s Fall.




6 June 2015

by David Harris

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