Seven miles from Athlone, Ireland is Lissoy, Westmeath where Oliver Goldsmith grew up. It took on the name ‘Auburn’ after the place was immortalised in Goldsmith’s ‘The Deserted Village’ (1770). Oliver Goldsmith was Roscommon-born and raised Oliver Goldsmith. The poem is a lament for the passing of a somewhat romantic village life where the preacher’s fire was a comfort to a passing soldier, and the schoolmaster’s knowledge drew admiration from the villagers ‘that one small head could carry all he knew’. The name of the village was Auburn. It was ‘the loveliest village of the plain’ before it became deserted during harsh economic times. Auburn, South Australia is famous for being the birthplace of C J Dennis, author of The Sentimental Bloke. His father, Dennis James, from Cork arrived in 1859 on the General Hewitt to work at the Burra copper mines.


Dymphna Lonergan

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“Auburn,” Irish Place Names in Australia, accessed July 16, 2018,