(Croagh Patrick , where St.Patrick spent 40 days and 40 nights)
In the eerie light of early dawn,
Standing, one gazes in awe.
One’s spirit seems to falter
At the glimpse of the summit tall,
Soaring high into the open sky
On this the final Sunday in July.
Shadows creeping near you,
Movement as pilgrims walk,
Some are bent with sticks in hand
Faces serious, minds in thought.
The three hour climb is starting,
A head, a line of pilgrims talk,
Tapping with stick on stone and twig,
Following the footsteps of Patrick’s walk.
They kneel and pray, then climb with dare,
Two and a half thousand feet above,
Here Patrick cared with love, his sheep,
Gazing down on the desolate moors.
The fields of Murrisk, to Erris Hill,
Clew Bay so far beneath,
forty days and forty nights,
St.Patrick prayed with zeal.
O’er the wind swept crest in Mayo,
Midst the Baa Baa from the sheep,
Demons in shape of black evil birds,
Swooped down by the young boy’s feet.
He chanted psalms to beat them,
Then rang his bell, they say,
Angel Victor came from up above,
The demons fled in haste.
An Angel came as a pure white bird,
Illuminating fair Clew Bay.
Copyright Máiréad Tuohy Duffy (C)2002