The Fiddler of Dooney

The Fiddler of Dooney by W B Yeats is a warm poem about a man preparing for the end of his life, and looking forward to heaven.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
W B Yeats

Yeats said that near where he grew up in Innisfree there was a rock named Dooney Rock, where he would often go to as a child.

The Fiddler of Dooney by W B Yeats. Image copyright Ireland Calling

The Fiddler of Dooney

When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Moharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time,
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With ‘Here is the fiddler of Dooney!’
And dance like a wave of the sea.

The Fiddler of Dooney by W B Yeats. Image copyright Ireland Calling

W B Yeats

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Ireland's 100 favourite poems

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