(The Pig’s Back)
- LIKE a sleeping swine upon the skyline,
- Muckish, thou art shadowed out,
- Grubbing up the rubble of the ages
- With your broken, granite snout.
- Muckish, greatest pig in Ulster’s oakwoods,
- Littered out of rock and fire,
- Deep you thrust your mottled flanks for cooling
- Underneath the peaty mire.
- Long before the Gael was young in Ireland,
- You were ribbed and old and grey,
- Muckish, you have long outstayed his staying,
- You have seen him swept away.
- Muckish, you will not forget the people
- Of the laughing speech and eye,
- They who gave you name of Pig-back-mountain
- And the Heavens for a sty!
Anthology of Irish Verse. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922.
About the Poet
Shane Leslie (1885-1971), 3rd Baronet of Glaslough, county Monaghan was a noted Irish speaker, author, poet, ardent nationalist and advocate of reforestation in Ireland.
Leslie was a prolific writer of prose and verse, in addition, he was a well-loved lecturer on Irish politics, culture, trees, and ghost stories. His Lecture circuit led him around the British Isles, particularly to schools, as well as venues in the US. [DES-6/03]