I sit and gaze upon the sky;
My thoughts are with the days gone by –
The happy days when you and I,
Dear brother John,
Were joyful as the larks that fly
To greet the dawn.
Now oftentimes my thoughts I cast
Into the peaceful pleasant past,
Whose pleasures were too sweet to last;
Truth said the song –
That happiness still flies too fast,
While grief stays long.
In this bright, rosy month of June,
When fields are fair, and zephyrs croon
‘Mong leafy boughs; at sultry noon,
Or evening cool,
Or when high rides the gentle moon;
My mind is full.
Of memories of summers fled –
Of what you did, and what you said,
Each sight I see, each path I tread,
Each sound I hear,
Recalls some memory of some dead
All in youth’s hopeful, sunny time,
Streams we did wade, and mountains climb,
Surveying Nature’s charms sublime
Then I’d recite some new-born rhyme
Which I had made.
Far in that city’s surging throng,
I know you’re sometimes thinking long,
To roam again these scenes among;
You’re feeling lone
For thrush’s, lark’s and linnet’s song
In sweet Tyrone.
May God still keep our memories green –
Green as the mantle of our Queen:
These memories of what has been
Will ever be
An ocean-spanning bridge between
Yourself and me.
Michael Mullin ‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co Tyrone.
The last two lines of the last verse is also in another poem written to P.D.
John and Patrick (P.D.) both done the exam in Cloughfin school under Master Henderson for the London County Council (LCC) and were offered employment in London. Patrick went out first and John went when he was about 16 – so this gives an idea of how early granda was writing his poetry. John worked as a weights and measures inspector in London.