Anear My home a stream flows past;
And on its banks young willows grow;
The willows bow to every blast,
And almost hide the stream below.
Where’er it can, the sun steals through
To kiss the river’s winsome face –
Like a bold lover come to woe,
A maiden full of bashful grace.
The river winds its way along
By grassy holms, and meadows green;
Fair flowers to its margin throng,
And over towards the mirror lean.
The magic music which the breeze
Draws from the willow harp, accords
Harmoniously with melodies
Of singing stream, and happy birds.
‘Tis more to me, this little stream,
Than lordly rivers far away;
‘Tis the quintessence of a dream
Of love, and innocence, and May.
This stream my childhood learned to prize;
And often since at Eventide
Found, with the sunset in his eyes,
A dreamer by the riverside.
And when the dreamer dreams no more
Beside his well beloved stream,
Haply his son may ponder o’er
This verse, and learn to love its theme.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
This poem ‘O Foremass Mine’ was published in 1971 . There is another version of this poem ‘Foremass in Tyrone’ which was published in 1911 – 60 years before this publication. His son P.D. has a copy of this publication. An earlier version ‘My Native Home’ was published 20.1.06 in the Ulster Herald. It was 18 verses long.