18. Folklore

 

In the oil-lamp’s mellow light

Fears and fancies crowd in sight,

While outside the waiting night

Draws in eerily;

From the valley faint dogs howl,

Nearer the cluck of roosting fowl;

And over all the hoot of owl

Lingers drearily.

 

Round the chiollagh aged men

Mouth the old stories yet again,

Ripe material for some pen,

Underneath the rafter.

Pipes are lit and smokes arise;

Mouths will gape, wide stare the eyes

With now a shout of great surprise

And a burst of laughter.

 

Thus the nation’s lore begins;

Literature its origins

Here discovers, while one spins

Blend of fact and fiction.

Reading is of little art,

Modern science plays no part,

Here a man unfolds his heart

With never a restriction !

 

Weekly Times  24.2.61