Patrick Kavanagh

From Tarry Flynn

On an apple-ripe September morning Through the mist-chill fields I went With a pitch-fork on my shoulder Less for use than for devilment. The threshing mill was set-up, I knew, In cassidy’s haggard last night, And we owed them a day at the threshing Since last year. O it was delight To be paying bills of laughter And chaffy gossip in kind With work thrown in to ballast The fantasy-soaring mind. As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered As I looked into the drain If ever a summer morning should find me Shovelling up eels again. And I thought of the wasps’ nest in the bank And how I got chased one day Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind, How I covered my face with hay. The wet leaves of the cocksfoot Polished my boots as I Went round by the glistening bog-holes Lost in unthinking joy. I’ll be carrying bags to-day, I mused The best job at the mill with plenty of time to talk of our loves As we wait for the bags to fill. Maybe Mary might call round ... And then I came to the haggard gate And I knew as I entered that I had come Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

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