Stony Grey Soil - Patrick Kavanagh
stony grey soil of Monaghan
The laugh from my love you thieved;
You took the the gay child of my passion
And gave me your clod-conceived.
You clogged the feet of my boyhood
And I believed that my stumble
Had the poise and stride of Apollo
And his voice my thick-tongued mumble.
You told me the plough was immortal!
O green-life-conquering plough!
Your mandril strained, your coulter blunted
In the smooth lea-field of my brow.
You sang on steaming dunghills
A song of coward's brood,
You perfumed my clothes with weasel itch,
You fed me on swinish food.
You flung a ditch on my vision
Of beauty, love and truth.
O stony grey soil of Monaghan
You burgled my bank of youth!
Lost the long hours of pleasure
All the women that love young men.
O can I still stroke the monster's back
Or write with unpoisened pen
His name in these lonely verses
Or mention the dark fields where
The first gay flight of my lyric
Got caught in a peasant's prayer.
Mullahinsha, Drummeril, Black Shanco -
Wherever I turn I see
In the stony grey soil of Monaghan
Dead loves that were born for me.