The bicycles go by in twos and threes –
There’s a dance in Billy Brennan’s barn tonight,
And there’s the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half -past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or a woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.
I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king, and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king
Of banks and stone and every blooming thing.
Patrick Kavanagh, Ploughman and Other Poems, 1936