John Keegan

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Keegan, John, the author of several poetical pieces of great beauty, was born in 1809, on the banks of the Nore, in the Queen's County. He received a hedge-school education, and was all through life essentially a man of the people. In a short notice in the Irishman of October 1876, it is remarked: "All the different phases of Irish passion — the fierce outbursts of anger — the muttered tone of contempt — all the deep and heart-rendering sorrow of the people — John Keegan was master of all! Not a side of the Irish character was there that he did not probe and understand. From the sweet mood of love murmured in the eventide over the milk-pail, to the violent words of animosity at the faction fight, there was not a page of the Irish character that escaped the keen eye of Keegan." Several of his verses will be found in Hayes's Ballads of Ireland: "Caoch the Piper," and "The Dark Girl at the Holy Well," are amongst the best. Keegan died in 1849, aged 40, when on the point of publishing his poems in a collected form.

Sources

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

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