Land of Legends

by Stephen Lewis Ingham Pettit

Some say in the distant dawn the giant hand
of Finn MacCumhal* once hurled this land -
(a tiny clod of earth, to him)
and missed his Scottish foe;

so here it lies, an island given birth
by superhuman force, between old kingdoms.
But how grand, to us, this realm of mountain shapes
and sunset skies and racing shadows!
A place of faery pastures,
of golden gorse,
of cairns of olden tyme and tales of long ago.

Yet we who dwell here know
we set our feet where once immortals trod,
who left their magic here. Here -
is the sometime throne of the ocean god,
Mannanan,
by which his cloak of mists invisible became
a plaything of his starry will- Here,
every mountain rill
whispers enchantment still,
murmurs the old god's name.



2nd June, 1973 (*Pronounced MacCool)