• Michael Mullins
  • Michael "The Bard" Mullin
  • "The Bard of Foremass"
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    Cutting the peat

    Hie we away to the hill-top,
    To the cutting of the peat!
    The sun in the east is rising,
    The wind from the west is sweet.
    See the mountains doff their night-caps,
    And to attention stand,
    While over them soars the day-god
    So glorious and so grand.

    Hie we away up the bog road,
    A dusty ribbon unfurled;
    From the valley low, upward we go.
    Till we stand on the top of the world.
    Then away with the coats that cumber
    The cutter who shapes the peat,
    The filler who builds each barrow,
    And the wheeler strong and fleet.

    The cuckoo is sweetly calling,
    The scream of the curlew’s shrill;
    And the moor-fowl bid us failte
    To their home on the heather hill.
    But, halt! It is appetising work,
    Hurry and light the fire,
    And run and bring from the mountain spring
    The water that we require.

    Our table is now the heather,
    Our seat is the heather, too –
    We dine beside our camp fire
    As bogmen love to do.
    The boglarks sing to cheer us
    As they climb up sunbeam stairs;
    And on heathery harps the bogwind
    Is playing enchanting airs.

    As rose the sun in the morning,
    So sinks the sun to rest;
    So hie we home to our cabins,
    And the ones that we love best.
    The curling smoke from our chimneys
    Seem to wave a welcome home
    To the bands of tired turf-cutters
    Who down the bog road come.

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