The shades of night had almost fled
As through a Cavan village sped
A youth who bore upon his tri–
cycle this somewhat strange device –

The spokes were polished up, each one,
Gleamed as it caught the rising sun,
And flashed with nickel-plated sheen,
The axles of that strange machine –

“Don’t be an ass,” the old man cried,
“The Cavan hills are hard to ride,
Take my advice and get a car.”
A voice responded from afar –

“Oh, stay,” the maiden said, “and rest.
Of course you know your business best,
But why you toil the live-long day –
I can’t conceive, nor why you say –

“Fair maid,” the youth replied, “I would
That I could stay with thee for good.
But ah, my worldly wealth is small,
And so I must obey the call –

“Begob,” ‘twas thus the peasant spoke,
“But that’s the quarest sort o’ yoke.
I beg your pardon, sir but might –“
A voice replied far up the height –

What motive urged his flying feet?
A rendezvous with maiden sweet?
– Alas, ‘tis time that I reveal
The secret of thy triple wheel –

Methinks it was the greed of gain
Which urged him thus across the plain.
No rest thy wheels may know the while
They pay him eighteen pence per mile –

Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French, 1980, Helicon Limited, Dublin.


Early Booking Special Offer

Each whole day €50. Students €10

  • Three / Four Lectures
  • Afternoon Recital
  • Tea / Coffee / Homemade Cakes

Tickets to the talks taking place in the theatre room in Castlecoote House must be booked in advance, seating is strictly limited per event and we expect these to be fully booked well in advance so please book early to avoid disappointment

Ticket Office:

  • +353 (0)90 666 3794

Don’t miss out, Festival tickets sell out quickly!

We are very sorry to say that we can’t do refunds as they play havoc with the ticketing system. If you can’t make it, we’d rather you gave your tickets to a friend who can.

The 15th Percy French Festival

French Awakenings

19th, 20th, 21st July 2023

At Castlecoote House

Honorary President of the Festival, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Informed Social & Cultural Discussion of Ireland Today.

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The Percy French Festival 2023 acknowledges the major support of Excel Industries, Dublin; Whyte’s; CastleAcre; C&F Quadrant Ltd; Davies Group; Hidden Ireland.

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