Monday, 23 July 2007



How lovely lies the vale and town
Full to the sun’s glad ray
With heath’ry mountains bleak and brown
And streamlets silvery spray.
Thy vales with verdant beauty drest
Thy mountains I adore
What can the eye more satisfy

Than thou sweet Croaghmore.

Oft on yon mountain’s airy breast

With careless steps I stray
Or climb old Knockan-Ephraim’s crest
And rocks of hoary gray
Or by the old flat stone sit down
To view the landscape oer
Midst which serene she sits a queen
The hill of Croaghmore.

And as adown her rock-bound brow

With leisure gait I roam
Far oer the wide extending plain
View many a peaceful home.
To south gray distance dims the view
To north the sounding shore
And Cushendall’s blue mountain wall
You see from Croaghmore.

And from Fair-head to ‘Derry far
The vast Atlantic tide
Beneath a bright ethereal sky
Rolls in majestic pride.
And when in never-failing strife
It beats the rock-bound shore
Its voice is heard by breezes stirred
Oer thee sweet Croaghmore.

Here crag on crag like step arise
And clad in blossomed heath
As keeping vigil oer the homes
Stretched in the plains beneath.
And lone upon the summit high
Expand three lakes before
The enchanted eye to beautify
The scene of Croaghmore.

And if upon a star-lit night
My steps I thither wend
The sweetly mingling sounds appear
With fairy voice to blend.
While sums the Heaven above to smile
With twinkling tapers oer
Thine Emerald hue and ocean blue
Oh bonnie Croaghmore.

Yet here some ancient ruined walls
Their bitter story tell
Of Christians hunted for the cause
Of Him they loved so well.
And forced to seek the mountains lone
Jehovah to adore
Such was thy past, how changed at last
Thy scenes oh Croaghmore.

E’en such is life, then better far
For those who have believed
Who from the bounteous hand of God
Have life divine received.
They when the eternal morning dawns
Shall hail a nobler shore
And views more grand, a happier land
Than scenes of Croaghmore.

Note: Does anyone know who 'made' this poem? Knockan-Ephraim refers to the placename in Irish: Cnoc an Aifrinn - the hill of the Mass. The top image shows the gable wall as seen from the south east, the middle the ruins from the west and the bottom the new Presbyterian church to the west from close to the ruins.