Synge's Grave

by Winifred Mary Letts

Winifred Mary Letts

MY grief! that they have laid you in the town
Within the moidher of its thousand wheels
And busy feet that travel up and down.

They had a right to choose a better bed
Far off among the hills where silence steals
In on the soul with comfort-bringing tread.

The curlew would have keened for you all day,
The wind across the heather cried Ochone
For sorrow of his brother gone away.

In Glenmalure, far off from town-bred men,
Why would they not have left your sleep alone
At peace there in the shadow of the glen?

To tend your grave you should have had the sun,
The fraughan and the moss, the heather brown
And gorse turned gold for joy of Spring begun

You should have had your brothers, wind and rain,
And in the dark the stars all looking down
To ask, "When will he take the road again?"

The herdsmen of the lone back hills, that drive
The mountain ewes to some far distant fair,
Would stand and say, "We knew him well alive,

That God may rest his soul!" then they would pass
Into the silence brooding everywhere,
And leave you to your sleep below the grass.

But now among these alien city graves,
What way are you without the rough wind's breath
You free-born son of mountains and wild waves?

Ah! God knows better-here you've no abode,
So long ago you had the laugh at death,
And rose and took the windswept mountain road.

Last updated January 13, 2018