The Land of Youth


painting “Tir na nog, Land of the Ever Young”  by Tighe O’Donoghue Ross

In Ireland, the mythical Land of the Young is called

Tír na nÓg

Here’s a poem about it by the Irish language poet Sean O’Riordan – translated into Engllsh:

At the back of the house is a land of youth,

A jumbled beautiful space among

The farmyard beasts unclothed, unshod,

Nor knowing the Irish or English tongue,

Walking the way.

Yet each one grows an ample cloak,

Where chaos is the heart of rule,

And in that land the language spoke

Was taught of old in Aesop’s school,

Long passed away.

Some hens are here, a chicken clutch,

A simple duck, though fixed of mind,

A big black dog with wicked looks

Barking loud like a good watch-hound,

A cat sun-baking;

There, a heap of bric-a-brac,

The cast-off treasure stuff of life,

A candlestick, buckles, an old straw hat,

A bugle quiet, and a kettle white

Like a goose waking.

Here the tinkers come uncouth,

Blessing generously all they see,

Feeling at home in the land of youth,

Seeking cast-off things for free,

All over Ireland.

I would go back in the dead of night,

The treasure gilded in the moonbeams’ reach,

Perhaps to see in the eerie light

The child-wise Aesop’s phantom teach

His ghostly learning.






<a href=””>Mythical</a&gt;






Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

One thought on “The Land of Youth

  1. My Grandpa was raised in Ireland. I appreciate your post. He was a man who inspired many imaginations within my family. Whether his tales were true or not was besides the point of listening to his tales. Thank you for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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