Since I Last Looked On Clara - Poem by Francis Duggan
The gray clouds of December pregnant with Winter rain
And brown storm water gurgling in the flooded roadside drain
And the old Boggeragh peaks wearing their hats of snow
And the stream to the big river bank high did flow.
It has been twenty three years going on twenty four
Since I last looked on old Clara above Claramore
In Claraghatlea where mine was once a known face
To many I'd be a stranger now in my homeplace.
A stranger nowadays in Millstreet my Hometown
On streets that I often did walk up and down
Though many of the old fields with a given name
Would be as they once were and look much the same
As I do remember from Seasons gone by
In my flights of fancy I see the lark fly
Up from the rank rushes to sing in the sky
A fading musical speck as to the clouds he does fly.
From Millstreet in Duhallow I live far away
Where the years have left me looking older and balder and gray
The face of old Clara I have not seen for years
But for the life I once knew I have shed all my tears.
Though a migrant in this Land is all I can be
My years of absence from Claraghatlea there has made a stranger of me
The silver billed magpie flutes on a gum tree
And the magpie lark sings his familiar pee wee.
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