I Was Of The Countryside

I was of the countryside west of Millstreet
A half an hour walk through the fields to where the waterways meet
But what was for everyone also for me
And the past just a memory of what used to be

It is cold, wet and windy in Duhallow today
And behind the gray clouds the sun hidden away
Brown stormwater flowing bank high in every field and roadside drain
And the Boggeraghs cloaked in the gray fogs of rain

December in Duhallow the sky gloomy and gray
And cattle in the farmyard sheds bellowing for silage or hay
The swallows have long since departed for warmer lands of the south
Far from the fields of the badger and waterways of the brown trout

In Duhallow in December a cold and wet time of year
The songbirds of Nature one seldom does hear
The freshening gales soughing in bare deciduous trees
In weather temperatures quite close to zero degrees

We are the sum total of our life's experience some are known to say
Though others they do not see it in this way
Good memories of our better times as we age we retain
But physically we cannot return to the good days again

In Duhallow in December the weather seldom fine and dry
And the sun seldom seen in the overcast sky
But each day one day nearer to the northern Spring
When the swallows return and the nesting birds sing.

by Francis Duggan

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