The corn is ripening in yonder valley,
The heather is in blossom o’er yon bog:
And I am on the crooked road between them –
A-dreaming in my cart as on I jog.
The turf should all be home before the harvest –
So hurry up, old horse, and don’t be slack;
Three loads of turf we have to draw home daily –
And even thus we’ll slowly raise our stack.
The little birds are silent in the valley,
The wind is scarcely stirring in the trees;
But still upon the hill are curlews screaming,
And o’er the bog there blows a cooling breeze.
The crooked road goes curving up the hill-side,
And though ‘tis somewhat rough with jolts and jars,
I envy not, while carting on this bog road,
The grand folk motoring in gorgeous cars.
Ride on, ye rich! I don’t begrudge your grandeur;
For I have beauty here and pleasures sweet –
The beauty of the bog and of the valley,
The perfume of the fields, the breath of peat.
The purple of the mountain’s autumn mantle,
The gold and green of the maturing grain,
The sleepy silence of the crooked bog road
That leads me to the bog, and home again.
Michael Mullin ‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone