‘On Yonder Hillside Sloping’
© Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.
On yonder hillside sloping,
A fallen house I see,
Where boiled the blackened saucepan,
To peasant family feed.
Where once was baked the oaten scone,
All dressed with fresh churned butter,
Where once they prayed in grateful thanks
For the tatties on their table.
Alas then came the devil,
To butcher feeding field,
To turn the leaf a deathly black,
And decimate the yield.
And there amongst the thistle,
The briar and the fern,
Consumed by strangling ivy,
Stands the homestead stark and stern.
No more the sound of Gaeilge,
No smoke from pipes of clay,
No Rosaries, jigs, nor dancing reels,
Just ghosts of yesterday.
No clicking knitting needles,
No spinning wheel, no yarn,
No clucking chick no hay filled rick
No cow, no sheep, no barn.
No cackles, laughs nor giggles,
No bread, no buttermilk,
No rent to pay, no need to pray,
All gone to coffin ship.
No splintered door, just earthen floor
No roof, no straw nor thatch,
No peeler armed with musket long,
No battering ram that smashed.
No sound of laughter’s echo,
No cockerels, clucking hens,
No pig, no sow, no goat there now,
No women, children, men.
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