I stand upon the hillside here,
Down-gazing on thy charms –
O, Valley of the lime-white cots!
O, Valley of the pleasant plots –
The well-kept fields and farms!
I watch the cloud-ships sailing ‘neath
Thy roof so blue and fair.
From many a tiny chimney top
I watch the turf smoke curling up
Like banners in the air.
On gorse I see already Spring
Its lavish gold has spilt.
I see ploughed fields of brown between
Stubble of grey and pasture green –
A pretty patch-work quilt.
I see the ploughmen at their toil,
The children at their play
On soft green carpets, flower-decked.
I watch the cottage panes reflect
The low sun’s level ray.
And while I gaze, come other scenes
Of beauty back to me,
Especially an Eden rare
Of rustic loveliness, somewhere
Near Newry by the sea.
Still , thou art first, O Valley
Of the cosy cots and farms!
I love thy sweet rusticity,
Thy beautiful simplicity –
Thy homely, comely charms.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.