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A January Morning In Knocknagree

It's cold in Duhallow this morning and the fields that were green yesterday
Lay chilled to the frost that the night brought a cover of silvery gray
And the little dunnock on bare hedgerow too cold and too hungry to sing
On nude branch he perch sad and silent the hardship that January can bring.

The robins and sparrows by back door like beggars they wait to be fed
In hope that when breakfast is eaten the housewife might throw out some bread
With no thought for song or for nesting their battle is to stay alive
How many will live to see April? the Winter so hard to survive.

The first heavy snows of the Winter have fallen on the higher ground
On Clara, Shrone and Caherbarnagh the hills are so white all around
The blackbird and thrush on the bare branch their feathers fluffed against the chill
And hare has come down to the lowland there's nothing to eat on the hill.

But i can remember the bright days when sun shone on the leafy tree
And robins and thrushes and finches piped in the woods of Knocknagree
And to her nest on barn rafters the sparrow brought feathers and hay
And out on the dandelion meadow the pipit sang all through the day.

Young calves and young lambs in green pastures were full of the frolics of Spring
And joy too had come to the river the song of the dipper did ring
And moorhen was out with her babies and she chirped loud if human was near
Her first lesson to them survival to teach them the meaning of fear.

It's cold in Duhallow this morning the thrush silent on the bare tree
And gray on the fields and the hedgerows and gray over all Knocknagree
But i can remember the bright days when nesting birds piped all the day
And hedgerows and woodlands and meadows smelt sweet with the blossoms of May.

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