“Why are you sorrowful, Blackwater?
Why do you frown as on you flow?
Why do you mourn? What is the matter?
Why does no smile on your dark face show?
Have you forgotten your ancient story ? –
Forgotten Hugh and Owen Roe?
Forgotten their story? Forgotten their glory
Ireland’s triumph and England’s woe?”
Mournfully answered the mournful river –
“I have not forgotten Owen Roe
And those brave men who strove to sever,
The bonds which laid my country low.
If I could defy the despot’s order
Smiles on my face again would show
But since they defamed me and named me The Border
I’m only a lonely stream of woe.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘The Bard of Foremass’.
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.