Four Schoolboys And A Dog

The countryside around wore Summer colours
The haycocks in mown meadows standing white
And the pasture fields surrounded by green hedgerows
Resplendent in the afternoon sunlight.

Four School going boys climbed the slopes of Clara mountain
Donal Hickey, Jerry and John Mahony and I
And Donal had his terrier 'Bonzo' with him
On that sunday long ago in mid July.

Four Primary Schoolgoing boys on Clara mountain
The countryside was beautiful to view
We picked and eat the whortleberries from the heather
The whortleberries small and ripe and blue.

The whortleberries ripe fruits of the heather
In July when ripe so beautiful to eat
You find them on the Cork and Kery mountains
Towards east Kerry from Macroom and Millstreet.

Old Bonzo trailed a fox up through the bracken
The ageing dog had known a better day
He puffed uphill the fox had long since bolted
Perhaps by then a half a mile away.

Twenty minutes later Bonzo came back exhausted
He panted heavy he was out of puff
He lay by his master Donal on the bracken
And stretched himself as if to say enough.

That day we climbed to wooden cross on top of Clara
That overlooked the streets of Millstreet Town
The uphill crawl on energy demanding
Though it was quite an easy journey down.

Our shirt sleeves soiled from the juices of whortleberries
Of Nature's fruits that day we'd ate our fill
And that night I climbed into my bed exhausted
From day of climbing on the bracken hill.

Jerry Mahony and Donal Hickey still in Millstreet
And John Mahony lives in England I've been told
And the boys back then long years beyond their prime day
And by the younger generation seen as old.

And poor old Bonzo he died on the roadway
I heard he was run over by a car
And I am living far away from Millstreet
From the fields by Clara mountain I live far.

Four Schoolboys and a dog on Clara mountain
And the singing lark towards heaven's gate did fly
And the ripened whortleberries tasted juicy
On that sunday long ago in mid July.

The countrysiode around in summer colours
And the haycocks in mown meadows standing white
And the pasture fields surrounded by green hedgerows
Resplendent in the afternoon sunlight.

by Francis Duggan

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