Four sharp scythes sweeping - in concert keeping The rich-robed meadow's broad bosom o'er, Four strong men mowing, with bright health glowing A long green swath spread each man before; With sinews springing - my keep glad swinging,- I strode - the fourth man in that blithe band; As stalk of corn that summer morn, The scythe felt light in my stalwart hand. Oh, King of Glory! How changed my story, Since in youth's noontide - long, long ago, I mowed that meadow - no cloudy shadow Between my brow and the hot sun's glow; Fair, girls raking the hay - and making The fields resound with their laugh and glee, Their voices ringing - than cuckoo's singing, Made music sweeter by far to me. Bees hover over the honied clover, Then nestward hied upon wings of light; No use in trying to trace them flying - One brief low hum and they're out of sight, On downy thistle bright insects nestle, Or flutter skyward on painted wings, At times alighting on flowers inviting - 'Twas pleasant watching the airy things. From hazel bushes came songs of thrushes And blackbirds - sweeter than harper's lay; While high in ether - with sun-tipped feather - The skylark warbled his anthem gay; With throats distended, sweet linnets blendind A thousand notes in one glorious chime, Oh, King Eternal, 'twas life supernal In beauteous Erin, that pleasant time. ("A Day in Ireland", translated by Michael Cavanagh, printed in Poems of the Irish People, 2016)
I learned while reading these poems that Ireland is sometimes called Erin or Eiré, as though the poets are speaking of Ireland as a long lost love, beautiful and full of happy memories.