• Michael Mullins
  • Michael "The Bard" Mullin
  • "The Bard of Foremass"
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    Your task it is to till the fields
    And so produce abundant yields
    For nourishing mankind.
    But while you plough the plain and hill
    The poet’s pen is needed still
    To plough and till the mind.

    Your noble task it is to sow
    Your seeds and tend them as they grow
    And garner them again.
    The poet sows with finer seeds
    That God may garner finer deeds
    And higher thoughts from men.

    God give you strength your work to do
    While I the rainbows arch pursue
    And search for sunset gold.
    Star-dust with heavenly dew I’ll blend
    And go on singing to the end
    Of beauties yet untold.

    While your high duties you perform
    I’ll do my best to cheer and charm
    With my poetic art
    You’ll plough and sow and reap and bind
    I’ll try to educate the mind
    And elevate the heart.

    MICHAEL MULLIN ‘The Bard of Foremass’
    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
    Sent 9th Aug. 1948

    I walk among my stooks as day declines,
    The skies (my almanack) for weather signs
    I read. Though saddened by foreboding storms,
    My heart is gladdened by the sunset charms.

    As sunset dims a steams’s song – silver notes –
    Through the grand symphony of silence floats,
    And floating fades. The harvest moon appears,
    Dimming with her bright lamp more distant spheres.

    The wind stirs gently in the uncut  corn;
    That rustles softly, waiting to be shorn.
    The wind stirs gently: in its rustling sound
    There’s something inexplicably profound.

    This is a lone walk: yet I find a grace
    In the calm time and in the solemn place.
    That suits my mood.  The moon and stars ashine
    Mirror the beauty of the Face Divine.

    This walk among the stooks gives me more joy
    Than games or pastimes that too quickly cloy.
    And as I wander home my doubts grow dim
    Before the brighter light of Faith in Him.

    MICHAEL MULLIN ‘The Bard of Foremass’
    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
    Sent to The Irish Independent, Dublin
    And the Cork Weekly Examiner
    August 23 1956
    Won 10/- in Cork

    Tis sunset; while I stroll among the stooks
    I read the skies as scholars read their books:
    The skies that tell the farmer’s practised eye
    Whether the morrow will be wet or dry.

    I watch the west, where the great orb of day
    Touches the clouds with many a golden ray.
    Albeit I read there many signs of storms,
    My grief is softened by the sunset’s charms.

    As fades the glory in the west away,
    Along the golden stooks my glances stray.
    Like soldiers on parade in ranks they stand,
    Row after row, o’er all the stubble land.

    The wind stirs softly in the uncut corn,
    That waits the reaper on the morrow morn.
    The wind stirs softly; in its rustling noise
    There are the sounds of sorrows and of joys.

    The shadows thicken fast – the earth grows dim;
    I raise my eyes above its glory rim:
    And lo! the lamps of Heav’n had been lighted,
    While I was walking in a world benighted.

    Now as I wander homeward, change suspense
    And calculating doubt to confidence:
    For He, the Giver of our oats and rye,
    Is still our Guardian, be it wet or dry.

    MICHAEL MULLIN ‘The Bard of Foremass’
    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.