Not for the highbrows who profess
To love what mystics write
Not for those mystics whose address
Puzzles the erudite.
But for the plain I plainly talk
And sing my simple lay
For common folk who work and walk
Along the common way.
Not for the idol of the hour
Not for the pampered lord
Not for the wretch who wades to power
Through blood with reeking sword.
Not for the autocrat secure
Not for a despot king
Not for the rich who rob the poor
No, not for these I sing.
For down and outs I sing my songs
For outcasts on the street
For famine haunted ragged throngs
The children of defeat.
For labourers who scorn to shirk
For workers true and good
Who strive to win with honest work
A decent livelihood.
For friends who can’t be bought or sold
For love that’s genuine
For these tis my ambition bold
To woo the Muse divine.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone
Sent 7 Jan ‘47