An August day is on its deathbed. Trees
Stand silent round, like mourners hushed in prayer.
No birds sing in the branches, and no breeze
Harps on them. Heaven’s tears fall softly there.
All work has ceased, and every tongue is dumb;
Fields, hills, and woods seem listening – intent,
Expectant, reverent, subdued – for some
Tremendous news or wonderful event.
Sweeps a lone curlew down from a far hill,
Across the plain, and with its plaintive cry
It stabs the silence. All again is still –
No other sound – while Day sinks down to die.
The glowing sun low in the distant west
Illumes the deathbed with long golden rays:
Ere he withdraws, one last fond kiss is prest
Upon Day’s dark’ning brow – one last fond gaze.
The sun, now veiled in draperies of mist,
Makes all the west a rare magnificence
Of azure, silver, gold, and amethyst –
A crown of glory – dead Day’s recompense.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.