21Hewitt, John. Collected Poems. Ed. Frank Ormsby. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1991. 94-95.
The reference in the final stanza to a "white horse" refers to the traditional tale "Oisín in Tir na nÓg,” in which Oisín's beloved Niamh gives him her white horse, Embarr, and warns him not to dismount on his journey back to his homeland. He forgets her admonition, and then ages 300 years and dies. The line "tinker's son" may be from a traditional ballad with that title, regarding a poor-born maker of "potcheen" (poitín), the very potent Irish moonshine.