(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

Sojourning And Wandering

A GOOD stay-at-home season is Autumn: then there's
work to be joined in by all:
Though the fawns, where the brackens make covert, may range away undeterred,
The stags that were lone upon hillocks now give heed to the call,
To the bellowing call of the hinds, and they draw back to the herd.

A good stay-at-home season is Autumn; the brown world's marked into fields;
The corn is up to its growth; the acorns teem in the wood;
By the side of the down-fallen fort even the thorn-bush yields
A crop, and there by the rath the hazel nuts drop from a load.

Now, coming on Spring, the days will be growing,
And after Saint Bride's Day my sail I will throw;
Since the thought has come to me I fain would be going,
Till I stand in the middle of the County Mayo!

The first of my days will be spent in Claremorris,
And in Balla, beside it, I'll have drinking and sport,
To Kiltimagh, then, I will go on a visit,
And there, I can tell you, a month will be short.

I solemnly swear that the heart in me rises,
As the wind rises up and the mists break below,
When I think upon Carra, and on Gallen down from it,
The Bush of the Mile, and the Plains of Mayo!

Killeadean's my village, and every good's in it;
The rasp and blackberry to set to one's tooth;
And if Raftery stood in the midst of his people,
Old age would go from him, and he'd step to his youth!

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