O those Ballycastle skylarks of 1949,
The companions of my solitary play.
All that passion seemed so far away –
I could not ever make it mine.
Now once again I hear that song as it echoes in my brain –
Its instrumental purity –
That self-same, sad refrain
Distils essential ‘sehn sucht’ longings,
Inexpressible, sweet pain.
Are the ‘Links’ there still as springy
Neath newly-sandaled feet ?
Do the wild flowers bloom as freely ?
Does that first tangy, salt breeze still entreat ?
O tell me my skylarks’ progeny
Still sing there just as sweet.
And can we learn the meaning
Of those melodies without words ?
P’raps only in transcendence
Of a separate, self-loved heart
Is our spirit freed to worship with the larks –
Forever pouring forth their joyful, sacramental art.