Long years ago I plucked a bunch of heather;
For you, aroon, I plucked it, dewy wet,
Upon a hill which we oft climbed together –
Upon the hill where first in youth we met.
Now we are old, and faded is love’s token;
But in our hearts that love is blooming still –
‘Tis like our trysting tree, by storms unbroken,
That deeper, firmer roots into the hill.
We’ve climbed the hill of life together bravely;
And now, while drawing closer to the crown,
We often pause, and turn, surveying gravely
The slopes behind, and youth’s plateau far down.
A hard fight was ours, but love gave strength to fight it;
Though rough the road you never did complain;
With some hopes realised, and many blighted
We’ve had our share of sunshine and of rain.
Together we have climbed life’s hill – together
May we step forth upon the long, long road
That stretches upwards from the hill of heather,
To where awaits our heavenly abode.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘The Bard of Foremass,
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
Written pre 1939