A Hill O' Lights

A poem by Michael Earls

Turn from Kerry crossroads and leave the wooded dells,
Take the mountain path and find where Tip O'Leary dwells;
Tip O'Leary is the name, I sing it all day long,
And every bird whose heart is wise will have it for a song.

Tip O'Leary keeps the lights of many lamps aglow,
Little matters it to him the seasons come or go,
Sure if spring is in the air his hedges are abloom,
And fairy buds like candles shine across his garden room.

Roses in the June days are light the miles around,
Tapers of the fuchsias move along the August ground,
Sumachs light the flaming torches by October's grave
And like the campfires on the hills the oaks and maples wave.

All the lights but only one die out when summer goes,
One that Tip O'Leary keeps is brighter than the rose,
Through the window comes the bloom on any winter night,
And every sense goes wild to it, soft and sweet and bright.

Lamps are fair that have the light from flowers all day long,
When the birds are here and sing the Tip O'Leary song,
But a winter window is the fairest rose of all,
When Tip O'Leary's hearth is lit and lamps upon the wall.

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