Leslie, Shane

Ireland, (1885-1971)

Muckish Mountain
(The Pig’s Back)

  1. LIKE a sleeping swine upon the skyline,
  2. Muckish, thou art shadowed out,
  3. Grubbing up the rubble of the ages
  4. With your broken, granite snout.
  5.  
  6. Muckish, greatest pig in Ulster’s oakwoods,
  7. Littered out of rock and fire,
  8. Deep you thrust your mottled flanks for cooling
  9. Underneath the peaty mire.
  10.  
  11. Long before the Gael was young in Ireland,
  12. You were ribbed and old and grey,
  13. Muckish, you have long outstayed his staying,
  14. You have seen him swept away.
  15.  
  16. Muckish, you will not forget the people
  17. Of the laughing speech and eye,
  18. They who gave you name of Pig-back-mountain
  19. And the Heavens for a sty!

© estate of Shane Leslie
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]

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