My black hills have never seen the sun rising,

Eternally they look north towards Armagh.

Lot‘s wife would not be salt if she had been

Incurious as my black hills that are happy

When dawn whitens Glassdrummond chapel.

My hills hoard the bright shillings of March

While the sun searches in every pocket.

They are my Alps and I have climbed the Matterhorn

With a sheaf of hay for three perishing calves

In the field under the Big Forth of Rocksavage.


The sleety winds fondle the rushy beards of Shancoduff

While the cattle drovers sheltering in the Featherna Bush

Look up and say: ‘Who owns them hungry hills

That the water-hen and snipe must have forsaken?

A poet? Then by heavens he must be poor.’

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