From youth, from Lusmagh with his stock
Among the traders there
From far and near, home and abroad
All met at Banagher Fair.
Bargained, argued, deals were struck
Settled by spit on the hand
More failed to agree price both thought was fair
As each one held his stand.
Times changed, more modern progressive times
Saw the car defeat the cart
The drover drove big lorries now
Not to the fair, but to the cattle mart.
But the horsetraders still annually assembled
Beneath Rynagh’s and Paul’s church steeples there
On a street long steeped in history
Of the Annual Great Banagher Street Fair.
The last men standing, so they said
No more pigs, cattle or sheep
As there was in centuries past
But faithful horsetraders the traditions keep
Once three fairs Banagher town had
The Great September some three days long…
Now its one day… but what a day
To walk among the throng.
A throng among whom he hoped to walk
He had his horses ready to trot the street
But fate and God had other plans
We at no more fairs would meet.
We thought how fragile life is
How sudden death can strike the blow
Laughed how he must be enjoying meeting long passed traders
From the Banagher Fairs of long ago.
A hush fell upon the assembled folk
The Angelus bells rung at noon
Heads bowed, even the horses we mostly in a hush
That lasted long, yet over too soon.
Like life itself, a friend remembered
Another one of which good tales to tell…
We shall meet again as all must do…
When we cross life’s final fence as well!