Friday, 15 April 2016

Cuttin’ Rushes - Moira O’Neill

Oh, maybe it was yesterday, or fifty years ago!
  Meself was risin’ early on a day for cuttin’ rushes.
Walkin’ up the Brabla’ burn, still the sun was low,
  Now I ’d hear the burn run an’ then I ’d hear the thrushes.
Young, still young!—and drenchin’ wet the grass,
  Wet the golden honeysuckle hangin’ sweetly down;
Here, lad, here! will ye follow where I pass,
  An’ find me cuttin’ rushes on the mountain.

Then was it only yesterday, or fifty years or so?
  Rippin’ round the bog pools high among the heather,
The hook it made me hand sore, I had to leave it go,
  ’T was he that cut the rushes then for me to bind together.
Come, dear, come!—an’ back along the burn
  See the darlin’ honeysuckle hangin’ like a crown.
Quick, one kiss,—sure, there ’s some one at the turn!
  “Oh, we ’re afther cuttin’ rushes on the mountain.”

Yesterday, yesterday, or fifty years ago….
  I waken out o’ dreams when I hear the summer thrushes.
Oh, that ’s the Brabla’ burn, I can hear it sing an’ flow,
  For all that ’s fair I ’d sooner see a bunch o’ green rushes.
Run, burn, run! can ye mind when we were young?
  The honeysuckle hangs above, the pool is dark an’ brown:
Sing, burn, sing! can ye mind the song ye sung
  The day we cut the rushes on the mountain?

Moira O’Neill (pseudonym of Agnes Shakespeare Higginson; also Nesta) (1864 - 1955) Ireland
Source: The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women, edited by Sara Teasdale. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1917

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