• Michael Mullins
  • Michael "The Bard" Mullin
  • "The Bard of Foremass"
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    A-Cartin turf

    While cool winds come to soften sultry sunbeams of July,
    A-carting home my loads of turf, a happy man am I.
    To kings or presidents, just now, my heart no envy bears;
    For I am happier in my cart than they on thrones or chairs.

    The rattling of the cart along is music in my ears;
    Its jolting rocks to slumber all my worries and my fears.
    And in the cart – if nowhere else – I sing a merry song;
    The rumbling smothers all the notes that happen to go wrong.

    I pass by fields of turnips, grain, potatoes, and of grass;
    The perfume of the new mown hay salutes me as I pass,
    Though summer’s flag of green is seen o’er forest, field, and fold,
    The Autumn’s heralds hasten to unfurl their flag of gold.

    While jogging slowly up the winding old bog road I go,
    All pure and cool and sweet and kind the mountain breezes blow.
    The gorse has lost its gold crown, but the broom has put it on;
    The bogland waves its purple flag, and its white ceannabhan.

    Now far away below me in the vale I left behind,
    I see the turf smoke rising up like banners in the wind;
    It seems to wave a welcome, and to bid me hurry back,
    And bring my load along the road adown the homeward track.

    Michael Mullin ‘The Bard of Foremass’
    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone