April 20-26, 2014: Cowboy Poetry Week - Hats Off to Irish Cowboys

April 20-26, 2014 is Cowboy Poetry Week. I thought I would share one of my own poems, written in 2007, a tribute to te Irish cowboy.



Right: Jeff Streeby, Cowboy Poet, in the dining room of Man of Aran Cottage, Inis Mor (©2005 C.E.Devine ~ Rincon Creek Studios)

Hearth & Heart

With a tin whistle in his pocket and a thousand songs tucked in his heart
He was off that day, across the sea, to America and a brand new start
Just seventeen and a day he was, a boy, and yet still a man full-grown
He was leaving hearth and heart behind, as he faced the wide unknown.
His Mam and sisters gone of a fever and his dad locked in a cold, dark cell
He would make his success in America, though just how he couldn’t tell

So long blessed Ireland, your hills no more to roam
Though I am here in America, my heart stays there at home
My Soul sings out your memories, My heart beats out your tale
As I hum a song of Ireland out here on this western trail

In a Conestoga pointed west, a babe at her knee and hope in her heart
She was off that day, across the plains, to Oregon and a brand new start
Just eighteen and a day she was, a girl, and yet a woman full-grown
She left hearth and heart behind, as she faced the wide unknown
She’d pledge her love to an Irish lad with a tin whistle and a grass rope
They’d build their life at the end of the Oregon Trail, with hard work 'n hope

So long blessed Ireland, your hills no more to roam
Though I am here in America, my heart stays there at home
My Soul sings out your memories, My heart beats out your tale
As I hum a song of Ireland out here on this western trail

On an airplane pointed east, a thousand ancient songs calling them home
They were headed back, across the sea, her coasts and hills to roam
Answering a voice in their memory that had taken root and wing in each soul
They found the fire still burning in hearth and heart, once again felt whole
Cowboy, Scholar, Bard, they followed the past from Cattle trail to Inis Mor
And found the place the heart called home on her rugged West Coast shores

So long blessed Ireland, your hills again I long to roam
Though I am here in America, my heart stays there at home
My Soul sings out your memories, My heart beats out your tale
As I hum a song of Ireland out here on this western trail.

Catherine Lilbit Devine © October 12, 2007

Views: 183

Tags: Cowboys, Ireland, Poetry, Returning

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