Barley: Sacred Staple Crop

“I sat within a valley green, I sat there with my true love, My sad heart strove the two between, The old love and the new love, The old for her, the new that made me think of Ireland dearly, While soft the wind blew down the glade, And shook the golden barley… But blood for blood without remorse, I’ve ta’en at Oulart Hollow, And placed my true love’s clay-cold corpse, Where I full soon will follow; And ’round her grave I wander drear, Noon, night, and morning early, With breaking heart whene’er I hear The wind that shakes the barley.

Robert Dwyer Joyce, 1836 – 1883

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