The home of youth with most of us is still the favourite home.
And youth’s impressions are the deepest still;
The ways of youth are haunting ways – and fain am I to roam
A road around the hip of Foremass hill.
O’er many roads I’ve wandered in my pilgrimage through life;
On better roads and broader I have been.
Oft’times I longed to mingle in the city’s din and strife;
And oft’ I longed to see and to be seen.
But the farther that I wandered and the more that I beheld,
And the longer that I stayed away from home:
The stronger grew the longing, and the more my bosom swelled
With love for one old road I used to roam.
The road I roamed in childhood and the road I roamed to school,
The road I roamed to see the friends I loved.
The road on which my boyhood dreamt the visions beautiful,
The road from which my heart has never roved.
The road to home, with most of us is still the favoured track,
The old home road is calling, calling still –
The old Culnaheena road that ever takes me back
To a wee house at the hip of Foremass hill.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘THE BARD OF FOREMASS’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Tyrone.