The sun was awake and shone bright his light for us
and the dew on the hills had a shimmering sheen.
The alarm had been raised by the chaffinches’ chorus
as I strolled with my love along Glencush Boreen.
The circling linnet sang love songs above us,
far up o’er the larch and the spruce so serene.
The morning itself had been crafted for lovers
on that long, lonely stretch called the Glencush Boreen.
She was pale as a statue and nearly as pious,
as fragile as porcelain, cool as a queen.
The sparrows chirped homage as they flittered by us
as we strolled arm in arm down the Glencush Boreen.
We sat by a stile when the heat bore down on us
in the shade of an oak, branches leafy and green.
And she snuggled up to me, did young Kathleen Connors
and we kissed long and soft by the Glencush Boreen.
But I was a lad of impetuous genus
and my hand sought out places it shouldn't have been.
“Stop you!” cried a voice like a hatchet between us,
though we were alone by the Glencush Boreen.
Startled we jumped and searched wildly around us
for the voice had the tone of a callous machine.
But no-one stood near, which served more to confound us,
all alone by the side of the Glencush Boreen.
“Stop you!” came the voice once again and it filled us
with terror, for still no-one there could be seen.
Then high on a branch, a cold, black shadow chilled us,
its beady eye trained on the Glencush Boreen.
The raven was large and its voice cut right through us.
“Stop you!” it squawked loud as if venting its spleen.
Kathleen leapt up high as if pricked by hot skewers
and ran like the wind up the Glencush Boreen.
I snarled at the bird that had managed to thwart us,
still watching me blindly, eyes callous and lean.
Then it bowed and flew off to its sons and its daughters
and left me alone on the Glencush Boreen.
I ran up the lane straining veins and aortas,
on up to the far distant lake of Diheen
and there found my love floating in the dark waters
that lie near the end of the Glencush Boreen.
Was she spooked by the fact that a raven addressed us?
Or was it the words pricked a conscience pristine?
Not knowing the reason both rankles and festers
whenever I think of the Glencush Boreen.
I told my strange tale to the judge and the jurors.
No guilt do I bear for the death of Kathleen
but it seems like a raven was able to skewer us
hook, line and sinker on the Glencush Boreen.
And sometimes I gaze out these iron-barred shutters,
whenever the clouds o’er the mountains convene
and I spy the dark shapes that alight on the gutters,
far, far from their nests on the Glencush Boreen.