The ceannabhans around the boglands glance,
And nod their white heads like old talking men;
The light feet of the bogwinds gaily dance
Across the heather hill and o’er the fen.
The long-beaked curlews circle through the air,
Their shrill notes cutting through the silence deep;
The bonny moorcocks hasten on to where
Brown moorhens guard upon their chickens keep.
I wade knee-deep among the heather brown;
I pause, and climb, and pause, and climb again –
And as I stretch me on the mountain’s crown
Sweet feelings fill my heart, sweet thoughts my brain.
And now a bog-lark rises at my feet;
It pauses, climbs, grows smaller, disappears:
It bears away to God a message sweet –
Too sweet a message for ungodly ears.
I feel a strange sweet rapture in my heart,
While strange sweet musings waft my soul abroad;
I feel no longer of the world a part –
While resting here upon this hill with God.
Michael Mullin ‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone