How nearer?

by Niall Curran
(Cork Ireland)

How nearer am I to happiness,
that I might commit the commonly cause?
To dredge up the earth with my battered hands,
plant the seed before the spring finally falls.
How earthier am I that I think,
some shitty words writ in ink,
help my mind and art in all
but my live action one string band.
I can play the fiddle as I play myself,
pop the case on the ground for a quid or two,
but I might find my audience as misers,
and I short a pound for meat on the shelf.

How nearer am I to happiness,
When the bow is wet beside my head?
Or when the drenched shoes, soiled in mirth
Leave my past steps behind me,
yet they always carrying the dirt.
How nearer am I to happiness,
in wedlock or in pain, when the world I know
suffers the buskers whine, a sound left behind?

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