Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Lough Neagh, and Home.


Son of Old Ireland, but his lot
Lies in a foreign, far-off spot;
He pauses oft, to think of — what?
   Lough Neagh; and home!

Twin pictures they have ever been,
A white familiar sheet — no scene
To thrill strange eyes — then fields of green,
    Lough Neagh, and home!

A house p’rhaps near the water’s edge,
Where grows the reed and clusters sedge,
And broods the crane like any sage;
    Lough Neagh, and home!

Maybe the Lough was miles away,
A treasured, view, as fair it lay —
How it sparkled in the morning ray!
    Lough Neagh, and home!

With water calm and weather fine
Someone, remembering Moore’s line.
Would try to see the “Round Towers” shine.
    Lough Neagh, and home!

Then bits of folklore, some old saying,
And some old tale is heard again,
Links here and there in memory’s chain:
    Lough Neagh, and home!

And will he not recall with both
The kindly province of his youth,
The very heart of which, in truth,
    Is Lough Neagh — and home?

And should he meet a pal or host,
Perchance, who makes the self-same boast,
Athrill they’d drink the common toast:
    “Lough Neagh, and Home!”

“NEAR LOUGH NEAGH.”



Poem from The Witness, 13 September 1918.
Image: Across Lough Neagh by John Halliday.


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