This loosely based upon a family story handed down. One more of my story/poems . So some parts will be in poetry form , other parts in prose form.


My great grandmother was Irish, of the south

Her father sold horses and pony's, he had a daughter unwed

Bridget my name

My great grandfather was of the North Wales, Victorian, old school

A trader of horses and pony's owned one farm, (a ranch), rented a second

One day he decided to take a wife a colleen, had taken his eye

Bridget fitted what he had in mind

A smile so bright and worm, a ready laugh, a girlish giggle

Great grand father, thought ; '' 'I'll cure her of all that nonsense! ''
'' See if I don't!"

Her hair as black as a ravens wings, how her hair flew with the wind

He decided she'd do for his wife

He told her father, of his wish to marry his daughter

The father, listened to the trader, at length

'' Well I'll have a word with Bridget, I'll see what she says ''

'' She'd do what I tell her! ''

'' It will cost you a dowry, thee knows! ''

'' I''ll see thee right, when I return ''

'' Right next time your hear I'll let ye know ''

The father had a talk with Bridget, she was not over keen

He were as fat as a pig, stank like one too, not that much of a catch in looks

Worth a bob or two in his bank account

Now, Bridget, had been seeing, secretly, been courted by Kieran, a darling man

Kieran, was tall dark and so handsome, other lads, were envious

Some were to be honest damned right jealous of his good looks

He sang how sang, Kieran could charm the very birds from the trees

Even the cows, and sows, come to that

Bridget, to could sing, both sang together, in duet, falling in love

Day by day

They'd dance, Bridget, would dance as Kieran sang his songs

Some were his own, he sang as he courted Bridget

Then he'd ask Bridget to sing, then Kieran would dance to the song she sang

Deeper and deeper in love day by day


For Bridget loved another, Kieran as bye now you know

Bidget, could not tell her father this, for Kieran worshiped at the '' wrong ''

Church, never the twain could wed, her father could not, would ever allow



Then, Bridgets father, with his anger spent said: '' Look, Bridget '' - '' you will be better of away from old Ireland ''

'' Not so long ago the hunger took your mammy '' '' she died giving birth to ye ''

'' The hunger, could come back '' - '' I can na look affter ye like I should ''

'' You must go with him, make the best it, my darling girl ''

Time passed, the time had come for the expectant husband to be

to go back to Ireland to get more

Stock, and find out the decision, was he going back with a wife on his wagon?

With him, he had a hundred sovereign in silver coins, the dowry

Duly he met the father, after due niceties, the Welshman, got down to

Business '' so what's it to be? '' '' Aye, Bridget, will be thees wife ''

The Welsh man duly handed over the hundred silver sovereigns

'' I recon that will meet with your acceptance '', the father counted

'' Aye that will do '' - '' now you look affter Bridget '' - '' aye that I will ''

Bridget, reluctantly climbed on board the waggon sat beside her husband to be

Kieran, were in her mind, there farewell were full of tears, Bridget, sobbed

Her hart breaking, a woman had not the freedom to love as her hart decided

As Kieran was of the '' wrong '' church, Bridget, was left with no option

Bridget, sat quiet, no more tears to shed, those remained deep inside her

They wed, bore him two daughters and four sons

Her husband were a brute of a man, a very Victorian, that kind of man,

Husband and father, the bible said it were all right to hit his wife

It even said the width of the stick to hit her with

As for children, well, seen but never heard

Then one morning, as the family sat at the kitchen table at breakfast

Joe, one of the sons (later to be my grandfather) spoke

All at the table went quiet, a deathly hush took over kitchen

Jo's, father, grabbed a log intended for the kitchen

From a sitting posture, leapt up onto the kitchen table

The laid about Joe, with a log, intended to be for the kitchen

That night, his mother Bridget, gathered six children, four sons, two daughters

And fled to Leigh, in Lancashire, deciding, that poverty would do

In those days, divorce was unattainable, for a woman in poverty

The law was only for men, wife's had no rights, not initialled to make

A claim for financial support from her husband

Bridget chose poverty, took in washing, worked in cotton mills

To support her children, and lastly her self, so often she went hungry

The children eat

They were clothed, fed, keep a roof over their heads

Great Grandmother, Bridget, work her self to death looking after children

My great Irish grandmother, brought an end to family violence, committed,

Aginst wives, and children

Great granny Bridget, though we never met, I know you all the same


Ken D Williams

The Dyslexic Wordsmith

Poetry by ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 607 times
Written on 2013-06-19 at 16:49

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What a magnificent story of courage and unfairness. I had my heart in my throat by the time I finished this. An accomplishment for you to write this long story with the proper rhythm and such clarity that the reader could not get away to find out what happened. The Irish and the Scotts, such proud races who caused so much hurt. How proud your great grandmother would be of you today!

An epic story/poem in so much more than length. Your grandmother a courageous woman with spirit, I think you have "the spirit" in you too.

Peter Humphreys The PoetBay support member heart!
This poem/story is absolutely brilliant, Ken. The story of your brave Great Gran was repeated again and again. You must be immensely proud of her. She would be proud of how you told her story too. Peter

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Magnificently written Ken; obviously from your heart. With a powerful woman like that in your gene pool its no wonder you're the warrior you are!


A beautiful story and elegy Ken, and sad, the way some of our ancestors' lives were both, hard lives of such courage and perseverence that we have to be awed and inspired by them. She endures still in your heart and your words.

Oh Ken that is such a sad tale but i'm sure it happened often and still in northern Ireland and I suppose the south it is frowned upon to marry someone from another church ...yes even now in the 21st century:( I myself, Irish Catholic married a protestant and I know it caused at least a few raised eyebrows but i'm a free spirit so always go my own way.
your great grandmother sounds like a very courageous and beautiful woman , filled with love for her children.
You must be so very proud of her and I can tell that you are with this amazing tribute!
I hope she knows how you feel about her:)