The Lost Heifer by Austin Clarke was voted just outside the top 30 of Ireland’s favourite poems by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.
The poem has a theme of Irish nationalism which was under threat when Clarke wrote it in 1936.
The Lost Heifer
When the black herds of the rain were grazing,
In the gap of the pure cold wind
And the watery hazes of the hazel
Brought her into my mind,
I thought of the last honey by the water
That no hive can find.
Brightness was drenching through the branches
When she wandered again,
Turning sliver out of dark grasses
Where the skylark had lain,
And her voice coming softly over the meadow
Was the mist becoming rain.