I Heard Not

Knowth Passage tomb is a site of history, not alone of prehistoric times, but of the Normans who held a fort here and all the others who used its elevation as a vantage point for protection. The prehistoric element is only a chapter in this sites story. Along with its twin site of Dowth, it makes up part of the Brú na Bionne neolithic site.

– standing at a Knowth Passage tomb –

I heard not the cries of the Norman child
From the forgotten keep that no longer stands
Slapped by its mother for a reason lost in time
And its pains soothed by another’s hands

I heard not the cries of a mother in childbirth
Heard not the cries of another’s fear
As their fortress came under attack
Heard not the cry of a soldier killed by spear.

I heard not the prayers of the Christian man
Who refuge from others attacking here found
Where he built his home where he never should
Upon this ancient burial mound.

I heard not the chants of those whose dead
Were placed all those years ago
About whom we have learned in time so much
And about whom we so little know.

I heard not the orders barked in an unknown tongue
As to how these stones were to be placed
By a people of no writing or modern tools
Whose technology and knowledge we have misplaced

But I did hear the bird song and the silence
That must have echoed so loud and quiet in their ears
That thing all civilisation’s have in common
The melodious soundtrack of the passing years

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