Vale of Glenariff

The North Antrim coast, and the Glens of Antrim, are stunningly beautiful. A summer day in this part of the world is heaven.

Visitors coming to the North of Ireland often focus their time on Belfast.  Big mistake, if I may say so.  The coast of North Antrim is not to be missed. At some point I will publish an article on my favourite places in this area.

I recently discovered, while perusing old local newspapers, a poem called Vale of Glenariff

My parents, way back in the early 1970s, loved to visit Glenariff.

Glenariff Valley
Glenariff Valley

The upward path now bends, now leaps,
Now falters where its stones have lost
The ageless war they wage to keep
Precarious footholds in the moss.

This glen is screened from outer light
And sunlight only filters through
Where stately branches crowd less tight
To give a glimpse of Heaven’s blue.

Where earthbound rays can seldom reach
Through leaves so close, or trees so tall
To find the shadowed rock-bound beach
Where Ess-na-Laragh has its fall.

Ess-na-Larach, Vale of Glen Ariff

The bridge alone is made by man.
Fragile it seems in depths like this.
Pine-logs and a bag of nails to span
A moss-lined, shadowed, green abyss.

Where mighty waters ceaseless pour
Their torrents in cascading stream
Filling the years with endless roar
That echoes from some dark unseen.

Only the Antrim hills can tell
When the first stream began to flow.
And what’s Glenariff’s ancient spell
Only the falling waters know.

But people come from far and near
To see this water-roaring glen,
And some find strength and others fear,
But many meet their God again.

By H. Bigg (Belfast)
Ballymena Weekly Telegraph,
6th August 1948



"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

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