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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V. 1876–79.

Mulla (Awbeg), the River

The River Mulla

By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

OLD father Mole, (Mole hight that mountain gray

That walls the northside of Armulla dale;)

He had a daughter fresh as floure of May,

Which gave that name unto that pleasant vale;

Mulla, the daughter of old Mole, so hight

The Nimph, which of that water course has charge,

That, springing out of Mole, doth run downe right

To Buttevant, where, spreading forth at large,

It giveth name unto that auncient cittie,

Which Kilnemullah cleped is of old;

Whose ragged ruines breed great ruth and pittie

To travailers, which it from far behold.

Full faine she lov’d, and was belov’d full faine

Of her owne brother river, Bregog hight,

So hight because of this deceitfull traine,

Which he with Mulla wrought to win delight.

But her old sire more carefull of her good,

And meaning her much better to preferre,

Did thinke to match her with the neighbour flood,

Which Allo hight, Broad-water called farre;

And wrought so well with his continuall paine,

That he that river for his daughter wonne:

The dowre agreed, the day assigned plaine,

The place appointed where it should be doone.

Nath’lesse the Nimph her former liking held;

For love will not be drawne, but must be ledde;

And Bregog did so well her fancie weld,

That her good will he got her first to wedde.

But for her father, sitting still on hie,

Did warily still watch which way she went,

And eke from far observ’d, with iealous eie,

Which way his course the wanton Bregog bent;

Him to deceive, for all his watchfull ward,

The wily lover did devise this slight:

First into many parts his streame he shared,

That, whilest the one was watcht, the other might

Passe unespide to meete her by the way;

And then, besides, those little streames so broken

He under ground so closely did convay,

That of their passage doth appeare no token,

Till they into the Mullaes water slide.

So secretly did he his love enjoy:

Yet not so secret, but it was descride,

And told her father by a shepheards boy.

Who, wondrous wroth for that so foule despight,

In great avenge did roll downe from his hill

Huge mightie stones, the which encomber might

His passage, and his water-courses spill.

So of a River, which he was of old,

He none was made, but scattred all to nought;

And, lost emong those rocks into him rold,

Did lose his name: so deare his love he bought.