By These winter days on Lettermore
The brown west wind it sweeps the bay,
And icy rain beats on the bare
Unhomely fields that perish there:
The stony fields of Lettermore
That drink the white Atlantic spray.
And men who starve on Lettermore,
Cursing the haggard, hungry surf,
Will souse the autumn's bruisd grains
To light dark fires within their brains
And fight with stones on Lettermore
Or sprawl beside the smoky turf.
When spring blows over Lettermore
To bloom the ragged furze with gold,
The lovely south wind's living breath
Is laden with the smell of death:
For fever breeds on Lettermore
To waste the eyes of young and old.
A black van comes to Lettermore;
The horses stumble on the stones,
The drivers curse, - for it is hard
To cross the hills from Oughterard
And cart the sick from Lettermore:
A stinking load of rags and bones.
But you will go to Lettermore
When white sea-trout are on the run,
When purple glows between the rocks
About Lord Dudley's fishing box
Adown the road to Lettermore,
And wide seas tarnish in the sun.
And so you'll think of Lettermore
As a lost island of the blest:
With peasant lovers in a blue
Dim dusk, with heather drench'd in dew,
And the sweet peace of Lettermore
Remote and dreaming in the West.