I heard the Poor Old Woman say:
At break of day the fowler came,
And took my blackbirds from their songs
Who loved me well thro shame and blame.
No more from lovely distances
Their songs shall bless me, mile by mile,
Nor to white Ashbourne call me down
To wear my crown another while.
With bended flowers the angels mark
For the skylark the place they lie;
From there its little family
Shall dip their wings first in the sky.
And when the first surprise of flight
Sweet songs excite, from the far dawn
Shall there come blackbirds loud with love,
Sweet echoes of the singers gone.
But in the lovely hush of eve,
Weeping I grieve the silent bills,
I heard the Poor Old Woman say
In Derry of the little hills.