My youth is o’er; the years more swiftly go,
While toil and time make my steps staid and slow;
Yet still it gladdens me to wander back
Along the green banks of the Owenbrack.
The Owenbrack flows near my native home;
Along the Owenbrack I used to roam
When childhood’s glamour gilded everything,
And I was happy as the birds of Spring.
Here, from my schoolbooks in those happy times,
I learned by heart the unforgotten rhymes
Than haunt me still, and often call me back
To walk the green banks of the Owenbrack.
It used to sing to me of hopes and joys
That thrill the hearts of dreamy, sanguine boys;
Then angel voices sang in every tree,
And harping winds drew heav’n down to me.
Now from the halls of Memory it brings
The songs of other days, lone echoings;
And voices of the friends who can’t come back
To walk with me along the Owenbrack.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.