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
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