The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition

A Connaught Man

(For Hugh Maguire)

Lord, when he shall come home from war,

Give him no pastures green,

But a wet wind and a soft wind

With reek of turf between.

Nor let Thy light shine overmuch

Lest that his soul should fret

For the grey mist and silver mist

That he will not forget.

Build him no pearl-white palaces

Nor gardens fair and fine,

Lest for his bare, far-stretching bogs

His home-sick heart should pine.

Not groves, nor any vermeil walks,

Nor flowery pastures pied,

But the great sweep of sky and land

And the hills at eventide.

Lord, when the men come from the war,

Give each man his desire!

Give him the soft wind and the rain

And the reek of the turf fire.