Tis sunset; while I stroll among the stooks
I read the skies as scholars read their books:
The skies that tell the farmer’s practised eye
Whether the morrow will be wet or dry.
I watch the west, where the great orb of day
Touches the clouds with many a golden ray.
Albeit I read there many signs of storms,
My grief is softened by the sunset’s charms.
As fades the glory in the west away,
Along the golden stooks my glances stray.
Like soldiers on parade in ranks they stand,
Row after row, o’er all the stubble land.
The wind stirs softly in the uncut corn,
That waits the reaper on the morrow morn.
The wind stirs softly; in its rustling noise
There are the sounds of sorrows and of joys.
The shadows thicken fast – the earth grows dim;
I raise my eyes above its glory rim:
And lo! the lamps of Heav’n had been lighted,
While I was walking in a world benighted.
Now as I wander homeward, change suspense
And calculating doubt to confidence:
For He, the Giver of our oats and rye,
Is still our Guardian, be it wet or dry.
MICHAEL MULLIN ‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.