Horseman, pass by

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

SW COSGROVE

William Butler Yeats is buried in the Protestant churchyard at Drumcliff, Co. Sligo, Ireland.

He directed the following epitaph be inscribed on his gravestone.

Cast a cold eye   

On life, on death.   

Horseman, pass by!

These are the final lines in his poem, Under Ben Bulben.  Nearby are Benbulben mountain and the ancient cross by the road that were mentioned by Yeats in the poem.
Under Ben Bulben
By William Butler Yeats
I
Swear by what the Sages spoke
Round the Mareotic Lake
That the Witch of Atlas knew,
Spoke and set the cocks a-crow.
Swear by those horsemen, by those women,
Complexion and form prove superhuman,
That pale, long visaged company
That airs an immortality
Completeness of their passions won;
Now they ride the wintry dawn
Where Ben Bulben sets the scene.
Here’s the gist of what they mean.
II
Many times man lives and dies
Between his…

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The Midnight Ferry from Almeria to Melilla

Nomads – on the road in North Africa

SW COSGROVE

ferries-map

It was a dark and stormy night.  Really.

Theresa, me, and my trusty Irish Setter, Erin, were booked on the midnight ferry crossing from Almeria, Spain, to the port of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa. It would be an overnight crossing through the turbulent Alboran Sea, which is the westernmost portion of the Mediterranean Sea, lying between the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. The Strait of Gibraltar is at the west end of the Alboran Sea, connecting the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean, near where Columbus left from Palos de la Frontera.

Our journey that night was in a tempest, with the roiling seas tossing the ferry up and down like a toy. Most everyone aboard was sick. Those who could went to the toilets to vomit or went outside and heaved over the side of the ferry. The rest sat in their seats in the passenger area as the…

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