The Braes O’Layde, 1953

The Danes were here. The forts above the road are still called after them, and down by Layde you can point out the port their longships used when they left Ireland after their last raid. … Read More

The Volunteer, 1951

For his long working life an engineer on the deep water, at the end he came still single, pension-armed, to settle here where he was known, the last to bear his name. He found a … Read More

The Wake, 1953

We snicked the latch where one was dead, constrained by ancient courtesy; the open coffin on the bed shewed us the man we’d come to see. We gave our greetings to the gloom; I found … Read More

Country Talk, 1965

Partly from reading the books and hearing the plays, and partly because it has happened to us now and then, we expect the cadenced phrase and the singular image when we stop to talk in … Read More

The Gap, 1951

Fencing a rough place on the mountain where the stirk was killed, he took a chill and came home shivering, refused the doctor, enduring the wide bed a few hours longer than usual; for a … Read More


Outside my senses, known as printed words, as tinted woodcut half a life ago, the crouching hedgehog on the roadside sward epitomised in spike and panting flank the world of things I know and do … Read More

The Stoat

Walking in the warmest afternoon this year has yielded yet, through slopes of whin that made the shadows luminous, and filled the slow air with its fragrance, we went down a narrow track, stone-littered, under … Read More

Rite, Lubitavish, Glenaan.

Above my door the rushy cross, the turf upon my hearth, for I am of the Irishry by nurture and by birth. So let no patriot decry or Kelt dispute my claim, for I have … Read More

O Country People

O country people, you of the hill farms, huddled so in darkness I cannot tell whether the light across the glen is a star, or the bright lamp spilling over the sill, I would be … Read More

The Owl

With quiet step and careful breath we rubbered over grass and stone, seeking that soft light-feathered bird among the trees where it had flown. The twisting road ran down beside a straggling wood of ash … Read More