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Only Those Hills

By Mattie Lennon

(Put to music by John Hoban)

I've returned neither wiser or wealthy
But the worries and joys that I knew
Were replaced by emotions less healthy
As apathy flourished and grew.
Hard knocks have put pay to all wonder,
There's no one to share with or blame,
A lifetime of changes to ponder
And only those hills are the same.

Advice I dismissed with derision,
And left without even goodbye
Those hurt by my hasty decision;
Now beneath weathered tombstones they lie.
The past slowly parading before me
With twin banners of pride and of shame.
The upwardly mobile ignore me
And only those hills are the same.

No turfcutters going to the Mission,
The sound of the anvil no more.
My ruined home cries out for contrition
As nettles like sins fill the door.
With sentiment partly resistant
Am I dreaming or still in the game?
The contour of Blackhill's consistent,
Yes, only those hills are the same.

The loves of a lifetime now vanished
All futile .. or now so it seems
To the Gulf of Eternity banished
Along with my hopes and my dreams.
I've sometimes been fearless in danger
While wandering the globe without aim.
Here's the only place I'm not a stranger
Yet, only those hills are the same.

When I'm asking my God for His pardon
And my bones are being laid in the clay,
And the weeds in my spiritual garden;
I'm sure that He'll clear them away,
My neighbours will stand by Church railings
And apportion the credit and blame.
When they talk of my good-points and failings,
Ah, those hills .. sure they'll still be the same.

By Mattie Lennon


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