James Stephens

(9 February 1882 - 26 December 1950 / Dublin)

Behind the Hill


Behind the hill I met a man in green
Who asked me if my mother had gone out?
I said she had. He asked me had I seen
His castle where the people sing and shout
From dawn to dark, and told me that he had
A crock of gold inside a hollow tree,
And I could have it.—I wanted money bad
To buy a sword with, and I thought that he
Would keep his solemn word; so, off we went.
He said he had a pound hid in the crock,
And owned the castle too, and paid no rent
To any one, and that you had to knock
Five hundred times. I asked, 'Who reckoned up?'
And he said, 'You insulting little pup!'

Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012

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