In Praise of Slemish

Serene and strong old Slemish stands,
A goodly sight to see,
Unspringing from the winsome lands,
Where Braid’s white homesteads be.

In rugged grandeur glorified,
With mellowing mist and haze,
He smiles across the valley wide,
Where Maine her course delays.

Or looks far off to catch the gleam
Of sapphire-tinted wave,
By Garron’s cliffs, or by the stream
Near Ossian’s lonely grave.

A sturdy peak – he forceful lifts,
Above the long hill range,
His hand sublime to where the rifts
Of cloudland glow and change.

As one who filled with calm content
In Christ, and clear of fraud,
And confident through pure intent
Lifts up the face to God.

Ringed round with belt of moorland lone
And flanked with fertile fields,
Right well he figures forth in stone
The men our Ulster yields.

A rugged race, if manners make
The chief, or only, rule;
But staunch and true and strong to take
High place in camp and school.

Ah! how that mountain rising sheer
Our Antrim hills among,
Has moved my heart from year to year
And round me glamour flung.

And drawn my soul from out itself
To wisdom, love, and truth;
And helped me fight ‘gainst hate and self,
And sins that stain hot youth.

And made the lines all stark and stiff
Of life and simple duty,
To curve and flow with grace, as if
They nothing knew but beauty.

Rev. Dr. George Raphael Buick
1841-1904

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