Epiphany at Gougane Barra

Sister Finbarr Crowley OP

Where the rugged road goes winding

To lone Gougane far away.

Where the silver streams come tumbling,

Roved my feet one summer’s day.

Clad in purple were those hillsides,

Fuchsia lined that mountain road.

O what beauty on you, West Cork,

Has the hand of God bestowed!

And as thus I walked and marvelled,

Came I in a little while

To that spot between the high hills,

Dear St Finbarr’s lovely isle.

Do you wish to peep at Heaven?

Then I bid you go down there,

See that isle upon the still lake,

Where St Finbarr knelt in prayer.

Deep emotion swept my spirit,

Voices called within my heart,

From such beauty and such grandeur,

Can you ever ever part?

There I prayed for strength to break with

All the things I held most dear,

For the thought of leaving Eire

Filled my lonely heart with fear.

Then away down there in Gougane

Were my thoughts of fear o’erthrown,

And to God’s voice clearly calling

I made answer “I’m thine own”.

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