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.


 (c) Mattie Lennon 2001

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