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Irish Poems
and Blessings

'Is maith an scéalai an aimsir
Time is a great storyteller' - Irish Proverb


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"Red is the Rose"

Cáintear na fileadha
's ni hiad do bhionn cionntach;
Ni fachtar as na soighthighe
acht an Ián do bhios ionnta.
Men mock the poet for his want of wit,
Yet not the poet's is the fault of it;
Out of a little vessel you'll not gain
More than a little vessel can contain.
Irish Epigram

Table of Contents:

For your convenience, click on the name of the poem and we will take you there. You may just scroll down the page, if you wish to read all the poems.

ONE FINAL GIFT.
SONG OF INNISFAIL
LINES TO ERIN
STANZAS TO ERIN
REMEMBER THEE
TIPPERARY
THE ROSE OF TRALEE
DEDICATION
Songs of Our Land
A NATION ONCE AGAIN
Irish Blessings
More Irish Blessings
Still More Irish Blessings
Yet More Irish Blessings
The Legend of Ireland's Magic Harp
The Charm
How to Ask and Have
My Dark Haired Girl
Song
Love my Love in the Morning
Ellen Bawn
The Dearest
Oh, My Love Has An Eye Of The Softest Blue
Mary Draper
The Widow Malone
A Visit From My Wife
Suleima To Her Lover
A La Sombra De Mis Cabellos
True Love Can Ne'er Forget
What is Love
In Life's Young Morning
Song
Her Refrain
Love's Secret
Love's Sacrifice
The Girl I Love
"Laddle of Buchan"
"The Coolun"
"Cean Dubh Deelish"
"Hopeless Love"
"The Fair Hair'd Girl"
"Molly Astor"
"The Dear Old Air"
"Remembered"
"Brighidin Ban Mo Store"
"The Ladye Of Lee"
"Farewell! But Whenever You Welcome The Hour"
"I'd Mourn The Hopes"
"Come, Rest In This Bosom"
"Written In The Blank Leaf Of A Lady's Common-Place Book"
"The Surprise"
"A Dream"
"Drink To Her"
"GLORY TO THE BRAVE"
"Joy's Immortality"
"Marriage"
"Women"
"The Curse :-)"
"Love's Wing"
"The Hedge-Schoolmaster to his Love"
"THE FOUR-LEAVED SHAMROCK"
The Passing of the Gael
Living

ONE FINAL GIFT.

Scatter me not to the restless winds
Nor toss my ashes to the sea.
Remember now those years gone by
When loving gifts I gave to thee.
Remember now the happy times
The family ties are shared.
Don't leave my resting place unmarked
As though you never cared.
Deny me not one final gift
For all who came to see.
A simple lasting proof that says
I loved and you loved me.

(by D.H.Cramer)

The limbs that move, the eyes that see,
these are not entirely me;
Dead men and women helped to shape,
the mold that I do not escape;
The words I speak, the written line, these
are not uniquely mine.
For in my heart and in my will, old
ancestors are warring still,
Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, from
whose rich blood my veins are fed,
In aspect, gesture, voices, tone, flesh of
my flesh, bone of my bone;
In fields they tilled, I plow the sod, I walk
the mountain paths they trod;
Around my daily steps arise - the good,
the bad - those I comprise.

by Richard Rolle c 1300 - 1349, early English Mystic

SONG OF INNISFAIL

SONG OF INNISFAIL
by Thomas Moore
from The Poetry and Song of Ireland

They came from a land beyond the sea,
And now o'er the western main
Set sail, in the good ships, gallantly,
>From the sunny land of Spain.
"Oh, where's the Isle we've seen in dreams,
Our destined home or grave?"
Thus sung they as, by the morning's beams,
The swept the Atlantic wave.

And lo, where afar o'er ocean shines
A sparkle of radiant green,
As though in that deep lay emerald mines,
Whose light through the wave was seen.
"'Tis Innisfail - 'tis Innisfail!"
Rings o'er the echoing sea,
While bending to heaven, the warriors hail
That home of the brave and free.

Then turn'd they unto the Eastern wave,
Where now their Day-God's eye
A look of such sunny omen gave
As lighted up sea and sky.
Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,
Nor tear on leaf or sod,
When first on their Isle of Destiny
Our Eastern fathers trod.

LINES TO ERIN

LINES TO ERIN
by J. J. Callanan
from The Poetry and Song of Ireland

When dullness shall chain the wild harp that would praise thee,
When its last sigh of freedom is heard on thy shore,
When its raptures shall bless the false hearth that betrays thee -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When thy sons are less tame than their own ocean waters,
When their last flash of wit and genious is o'er,
When virtue and beauty forsake thy young daughters -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When the sun that now holds his bright path o'er the mountains
Forgets the green fields that he smiled on before,
When no moonlight shall sleep on thy lakes and thy fountains -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When the name of the Saxon and tyrant shall sever,
When the freedom you lost you no longer deplore,
When the thoughts of your wrongs shall be sleeping forever -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

STANZAS TO ERIN

STANZAS TO ERIN
by J. J. Callanan
from The Poetry and Song of Ireland

Still green are thy mountains and bright is thy shore,
And the voice of thy fountains is heard as of yore:
The sun o'er thy valleys, dear Erin, shines on,
Though thy bard and thy lover forever is gone.

Nor shall he, an exile, thy glad scenes forget -
The friends fondly loved, ne'er again to be met -
The glens where he mused on the deeds of his nation,
And waked his young harp with wild inspiration.

Still, still, though between us may roll the broad ocean,
Will I cherish thy name with the same deep devotion;
And though minstrels more brilliant my place may supply,
None loves you more fondly, more truly than I.

REMEMBER THEE

REMEMBER THEE
by Thomas Moore
from The Poetry and Song of Ireland

Remember thee! yes, while there's life in this heart,
It shall never forget thee, all lorn as thou art,
More dear in thy sorrow, thy gloom, and thy showers,
Than the rest of the world in their sunniest hours.

Wert thou all that I wish thee, great, glorious, and free,
First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea,
I might hail thee with prouder, with happier brow,
But oh! could I love thee more deeply than now?

No, thy chains as they rankle, thy blood as it runs,
But make thee more painfully dear to thy sons -
Whose hearts, like the young of the desert bird's nest,
Drink love in each life-drop that flows from thy breast.

TIPPERARY

Whether or not World War I soldiers knew the whereabouts of Tipperary, they knew what they meant by it. This anthem of a generation concludes 'For my heart lies there'. The song was written in 1912. One of the first to popularise it was Al Jolson. Among the countless recordings of it is one by John McCormack. Wandering, tramping, going on a pilgrimage; a complex of motifs related to such activities has recurred in Irish writing since Buile Suibhne. In the modern period, particularly, Irish writers great and small have made extensive use of one form or another of peregrination.

The epigraph for Tipperary, the book in which the poem appears, quotes the modern Greek poet George Seferis: 'beacons in this temporary archipelago/where we live'. The town of Tipperary lies at the head of the Golden Vale, one of the most fertile areas in Ireland. Limerick Junction is a noted railway station near Tipperary town, it is extensively used as a place to change trains - one line to Limerick, the other to Cork. Its name has a particular resonance for generations of emigrants to England.

TIPPERARY

Tipperary: from the Irish Tiobraidarann: The fountain of perception or enlightenment, intelligence

It's a long way to Tipperary,
it's a long way to go - and various.
It's a torture of twists, and about-turns,
disillusions, disappointments.
The way to Tipperary appears
perennially dark with only occasional twilight's.

If you decide to go to Tipperary
set out while you're young, plucky;
at that age when you're bright-eyed and visions
of radiant horizons of revelation and achievement
and you know nothing of twilight's or the dark;
that age when all creation, all life shines clear
as spring sunlight, bright as light-catching gold.

When you set out you must go alone.
There are no maps of the way to Tipperary.
Your only compass is your own heart. Trust that!
Some see their Tipperary clearly from the start;
see it's a long road, full of daily pitfalls,
a labyrinth of curious sidestreets, inviting,
guesthouses; giddy with the temptations
of those bogey people's trinket stalls'
hokeypokey - daily thieves of eternal energy -
easy come, easy go, you've sold your soul,
you've no more choice. They sell bedlam!

Explore all those sidestreets,
enjoy your chosen resthouses,
fool with a few trinkets to learn
something of the way to Tipperary.

The way to Tipperary darkened
with the shadows of all those
who never got there anyway;
those who settled for some resthouse,
some casual trinket thief of time.
Don't let those shadows,
mumbling in their own gloom,
deter or deviate you.
Hold to your main road. Keep going!

Once you've decided to go to Tipperary
you'll realise you no longer belong to yourself
but must keep Tipperary in your sights daily -
although you can't see it. Purpose is all.
Without your Tipperary you too are a mere shadow
at those Limerick Junctions of daily resolution.

On the way to Tipperary keep your eyes open
for signals of direction, encouragement:
that nod of understanding, comradeship,
a cherishing arm on your pillow. You'll see
beautiful sights on the way to Tipperary;
man's mirage tales, imagination's monuments.
You'll behold the endless vistas, panoramas
of vision. Be curious about them all
for the gracious gifts they will afford you.
Without them you'd live that much the poorer.

It's a long way to Tipperary
and when you get there
nothing awaits you. You'll find no roadsign,
no brassband and welcoming committee
with a proclaiming you're in Tipperary
and a medallion to hang around your neck.
You'll find only what you brought with you
in your heart.

Then, what you must do
is make and leave some record
of what your Tipperary means to you -
as witness for all those behind you
on their ways to their own Tipperaries.

It's a long way to Tipperary
But all our hearts lie there.

by Desmond O'Grady (1991)

THE ROSE OF TRALEE

William Pembroke Mulchinock (1820?-1864) composed this ballad. Living just outside of the village of Tralee, William fell in love with a girl who was a maid in one of the nearby houses. Since a romance with an Irish servant girl could hardly be tolerated by the Pembroke Mulchinocks, in no time at all William was sent to join a regiment in India.

And so the young man soldiered, his thoughts remaining on the girl he left behind. Three years passed before he returned to Tralee. As he came into the village, he saw a funeral procession passing down the street. It was the funeral of the girl he loved, who had died, it was said, of a broken heart. In the public park just outside of Tralee there is memorial to these ill-fated lovers. On the marble stone beneath a carved cross is this inscription: "To the memory of William Pembroke Mulchinock and the Rose of Tralee. She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer." 'Of Irish Ways' Mary Murray Delaney

THE ROSE OF TRALEE

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I stray'd with my love to the pure crystal fountain
That stands in the beautiful vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary, all smiling, was list'ning to me.
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

Tho' lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

from '1000 Years of Irish Poetry' edited by Kathleen Hoagland

DEDICATION

DEDICATION
by Patrick MacGill
(1890- )
from 1000 years of Irish Poetry

I speak with a proud tongue of the people who were
And the people who are,
The worthy of Ardara, the Rosses and Inishkeel,
My kindred-
The people of the hills and the dark-haired passes
My neighbours on the lift of the brae,
In the lap of the valley.

To them Slainthé!

I speak of the old men,
The wrinkle-rutted,
Who dodder about foot-weary -
For their day is as the day that has been and is no more -
Who warm their feet by the fire,
And recall memories of the times that are gone;
Who kneel in the lamplight and pray
For the peace that has been theirs -
And who beat one dry-veined hand against another
Even in the sun-
For the coldness of death is on them.

I speak of the old women
Who danced to yesterday's fiddle
And dance no longer.
They sit in a quiet place and dream
And see visions
Of what is to come,
Of their issue,
Which has blossomed to manhood and womanhood -
And seeing thus
They are happy
For the day that was leaves no regrets,
And peace is theirs
And perfection.

I speak of the strong men
Who shoulder their burdens in the hot day,
Who stand on the market-place
And bargain in loud voices,
Showing their stock to the world.
Straight the glance of their eyes -
Broad-shouldered,
Supple.
Under their feet the holms blossom,
The harvest yields.
The their path is of prosperity.

I speak of the women,
Strong hipped, full-bosomed,
Who drive the cattle to graze at dawn,
Who milk the cows at dusk.
Grace in their homes,
And in the crowded ways
Modest and seemly -
Mother of children!

I speak of the children
Of the many townlands,
Blossoms of the Bogland,
Flowers of the Valley,
Who know not yesterday, nor to-morrow,
And are happy,
The pride of those who have begot them.

And thus it is,
Every and always,
In Ardara, the Rosses and Inishkeel -
Here, as elsewhere,
The Weak, the Strong, and the Blossoming -
And thus my kindred.

To them Slainthé!

Songs of Our Land

Songs of Our Land
by Francis Brown

Songs of our land, ye are with us for ever,
The power and the splendor of thrones pass away;
But yours is the might of some far flowing river.
Through Summer's bright roses or Autumn's decay.
Ye treasure each voice of the swift passing ages,
And truth which time writeth on leaves or on sand;
Ye bring us the thoughs of poets and sages,
And keep them among us, old songs of our land.

The bards may go down to the place of their slumbers,
The lyre of the charmer be hushed in the grave,
But far in the future the power of their numbers
Shall kindle the hearts of our faithful and brave,
It will waken an echo in souls deep and lonely,
Like voices of reeds by the summer breeze fanned;
It will call up a spirit for freedom, when only
Her breathings are heard in the songs of our land.

For they keep a record of those, the true-hearted,
Who fell with the cause they had vowed to maintain;
They show us bright shadows of glory departed,
Of love that grew cold and hope that was vain.
The page may be lost and the pen long forsaken,
And weeds may grow wild o'er the brave heart and hand;
But ye are still left when all else hath been taken,
Like streams in the desert, sweet songs of our land.

Songs of our land, ye have followed the stranger,
With power over ocean and desert afar,
Ye have gone with our wanderers through distance and danger,
And gladdened their path like a homeguiding star.
With the breath of our mountains in summers long vanished,
And visions that passed like a wave from the sand,
With hope for their country and joy from her banished.
Ye come to us ever, sweet songs of our land.

The spring time may come with the song of our glory,
To bid the green heart of the forest rejoice,
But the pine of the mountain though blasted and hoary,
And the rock in the desert, can send forth a voice,
It was thus in their triumph for deep desolations,
While ocean waves roll or the mountains shall stand,
Still hearts that are bravest and best of the nations,
Shall glory and live in the songs of our land.

FRANCIS BROWNE (the Blind Poetess) was born in County Donegal, June 16, 1818. Her loss of sight was owing to a severe attack of small pox during her infancy, which left this deplorable mark of its presence. Her early education was acquired through the attention with which she listened to the instructions given her sisters and brother; her natural literary tastes requiring but little assistance to grow to perfect fruitation. As early as her seventh year, her desire for verse-making made itself manifest. In 1844 her first volume of poems was published and received with favour.

A NATION ONCE AGAIN

"This country of ours is no sand-bank, thrown up by some recent caprice of earth. It is an ancient land, honoured in the archives of civilization, traceable into antiquity by its piety, its valor, and its sufferings. Every great European race has sent its stream to the river of the Irish mind. Long wars, vast organizations, subtle codes, beacon crimes, leading virtues, and self-mighty men were here. If we lived influenced by wind, and sun, and tree, and not by the passions and deeds of the Past, we are a thriftless and hopeless people" - Davis's Essays

A NATION ONCE AGAIN
by Thomas Davis

When boyhood's fire was in my blood,
I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three Hundred Men and Three Men.
And then I prayed I yet might see
Out fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be
A Nation once again.

And, from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shown, a far light;
Nor could love's brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field, and fane;
Its angel voice sang round my head,
"A Nation once again."

It whispered, too, that "freedom's ark
And services high and holy,
Would be profaned by feelings dark
And passions vain and lowly;
For freedom comes from God's right hand,
And needs a godly train;
And righteous men must make our land
A Nation once again."

So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bent me to the bidding -
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion ridding;
For, thus I hoped some day to aid -
Oh! can such hope be vain? -
When my dear country shall be made
A Nation once again.

"National poetry is the very flowering of the soul, the greatest evidence of its health, the greatest excellence of its beauty. Its melody is balsam to the senses. It is the playfellow of Childhood ...also the companion of Manhood, consoles Age. It presents the most dramatic events, the largest characters, the most impressive scenes, and the deepest passions, in the language most familar to us. It magnifies and enobles our hearts, our intellects, our country, and our countrymen; binds us to the land by its condensed and gem-like history - to the future by example and aspiration. It solaces us in travel, fires us in action, prompts our invention, sheds grace beyond the power of luxury round our homes, is the recognised envoy of our minds among all mankind, and to all time."

Davis's Essays

Irish Blessings

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Now sweetly lies old Ireland
Emerald green beyond the foam,
Awakening sweet memories,
Calling the heart back home.

Ireland, it's the one place on earth
That heaven has kissed
With melody, mirth,
And meadow and mist.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day in every way
And forever and ever after.

May the luck of the Irish possess you.
May the devil fly off with your worries.
May God bless you forever and ever.

Bless your little Irish heart-
and every other Irish part.

Ireland is where strange tales begin
and happy endings are possible.

An Irish method for tackling problems;
There comes a time when you must take the bull
By the tail and face the situation squarely.

Here's to good Irish friends
Never above you
Never below you
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Now sweetly lies old Ireland
Emerald green beyond the foam,
Awakening sweet memories,
Calling the heart back home.

Ireland, it's the one place on earth
That heaven has kissed
With melody, mirth,
And meadow and mist.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day in every way
And forever and ever after.

May the luck of the Irish possess you.
May the devil fly off with your worries.
May God bless you forever and ever.

Bless your little Irish heart-
and every other Irish part.
Ireland is where strange tales begin
and happy endings are possible.

An Irish method for tackling problems;
There comes a time when you must take the bull
By the tail and face the situation squarely.

Here's to good Irish friends
Never above you
Never below you
Always beside you.

Always beside you.

More Irish Blessings

May the blessing of Light be on you -
light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart till it glows like
a great peat fire, so that the stranger
may come and warm himself at it, and
also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two
eyes of you, like a candle set in two
windows of a house, bidding the wanderer
to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the Rain be on you -
the soft sweet rain. May it fall upon your
spirit so that all the little flowers may
spring up, and shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on
you, may they beat upon your spirit and wash
it fair and clean, and leave there many a
shining pool where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

And may the blessing of the Earth be on you -
the great round earth; may you ever have a
kindly greeting for them you pass as you're
going along the roads.
May the earth be soft under you when you
rest upon it, tired at the end of the day, and may
it rest easy over you when, at the last, you lay
out under it;
May it rest so lightly over you, that your soul
may be out from under it quickly, and up, and
off, and on its way to God.

Still More Irish Blessings

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back
. May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Yet More Irish Blessings

Wishing you always -
Walls for the wind
And a rood for rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart might desire!

The Legend of Ireland's Magic Harp

In the misty hills of Ireland
A long, long time ago,
There lived a lovely Irish lass
Who loved her father so.

One day he went to fetch some wood,
But he did not soon return,
And so his loving daughter's heart
Was filled with great concern.

She searched for him throughout the day,
And when a fog came in
She wept, for she was fearful
They would never meet again.

Then suddenly, a little band
Of leprechauns came by.
They all were very saddened.
To hear the lovely maiden cry.

They asked if they might have a lock
Of her long and golden hair,
Then tied the silken strands across
A crooked limb with care.

'Twas a magic harp they'd made,
And when the maiden touched each strand,
The music led her father home
Across the misty land.

And to this day the harp remains
A cherished symbol of
The blessings of the hearth and home
The Irish dearly love.

The Charm

by Samuel Lover
Novelist, poet, musician and artist
born in Dublin, Ireland 1797, died in 1868

(they say that a flower may be found in a valley opening to the West, which bestows on the finder the power of winning the affection of the person to whom it is presented. Hence, it is supposed, has originated the custom of presenting a bouquet.)

They say there's a secret charm which lies
In some wild floweret's bell,
That grows in a vale where the west wind sighs,
And where secrets best may dwell;
And they who can find the fairy flower,
A treasure possess that might grace a throne;
For, oh! they can rule with the softest power
The heart they would make their own.

The Indian has toil'd in the dusky mine,
For the gold that has made him a slave;
Or, plucking the pearl from the sea-god's shrine,
Has tempted the wrath of the wave;
But ne'er has he sought, with a love like mine,
The flower that holds the heart in thrall;
Oh! rather I'd win that charm divine,
Than their gold and their pearl and all.

I've sought it by day, from morn till eve
I've won it - in dreams at night;
And then how I grieve my couch to leave,
And sigh at the morning's light;
Yet sometimes I think in a hopeful hour,
The blissful moment I yet may see
To win the fair flower from the fairy's bower
And give it, love - to thee.

How to Ask and Have

by Samuel Lover

"Oh, 'tis time I should talk to your mother,
Sweet Mary," says I;
"Oh, don't talk to my mother," says Mary,
Beginning to cry,
"For my mother says men are deceivers,
And never, I know, will consent;
She says all girls in a hurry to marry
At leisure repent."

"Then, suppose I would talk to your father,
Sweet Mary," says I;
"Oh, don't talk to my father," says Mary,
Beginning to cry,
"For my father, he loves me so dearly
He'll never consent I should go -
If you talk to my father," says Mary,
"He'll surely say 'no'."

"Then how shall I get you, my jewel?
Sweet Mary," says I;
"If your father and mother so cruel,
Most surely I'll die!"
"Oh, never say die, dear," says Mary;
"A way now to save you, I see;
Since my parents are both so contrary -
You'd better ask me."

My Dark Haired Girl

by Samuel Lover

My dark-hair'd girl, thy ringlets deck,
In silken curl, thy graceful neck;
Thy neck is like the swan, and fair as the pearl,
And light as air the step is of my dark-haired girl.

My dark-haired girl, upon thy lip
The dainty bee might wish to sip;
For thy lip it is the rose, and thy teeth they are pearl,
And diamond is the eye of my dark-haired girl!

My dark-haired girl, I've promised thee,
And thou thy faith hast given to me,
And oh, I would not change for the crown of an earl
The pride of being loved by my dark-hair'd girl!

Song

by Thomas Moore
the greatest Irish lyrist
born Dublin, 1779 - died 1852

Have you not seen the timid tear
Steal trembling from mine eye?
Have you not mark'd the flush of fear,
Or caught the murmur'd sigh?
And can you think my love is chill,
Nor fix'd on you alone?
And can you rend, by doubting still,
A heart so much your own?

To you my soul's affections move
Devoutly, warmly, true:
My life has been a task of love,
One long, long thought of you.
If all your tender faith is o'er,
If still my truth you'll try;
Alas! I know but one proof more -
I'll bless your name, and die!

Love my Love in the Morning

by Gerald Griffin
popular and talented Irish novelist and dramatist
born in Limerick, 1803 - died in Cork, 1840

I love my love in the morning,
For she like morn is fair -
Her blushing cheek, its crimson streak,
Its clouds her golden hair.
Her glance, its beam, so soft and kind;
Her tears, its dewy showers;
And her voice, the tender whispering wind
That stirs the early bowers.

I love my love in the morning,
I love my love at noon,
For she is bright as the lord of light,
Yet mild as autumn's moon;
Her beauty is my bosom's sun,
Her faith my fostering shade,
And I will love my darling one,
Till even the sun shall fade.

I love my love in the morning,
I love my love at eve;
Her smile's soft play is like the ray
That lights the western heaven;
I loved her when the sun was high,
I loved her when she rose;
But best of all when evening's sigh
Was murmuring at its close.

Ellen Bawn

(from the Irish)
by James Clarence Mangan
born Dublin, 1803 - died 1849

Ellen Bawn, oh, Ellen Bawn, you darling, darling dear, you
Sit awhile beside me here, I'll die unless I'm near you!
'Tis for you I'd swim the Suir and breast the Shannon's waters;
For, Ellen dear, you've not your peer in Galway's blooming daughters!

Had I Limerick's gems and gold at will to mete and measure,
Were Loughrea's abundance mine, and all Portumna's treasure,
These might lure me, might insure me many and many a new love,
But oh! no bribe could pay your tribe for one like you, my true love!

Blessings be on Connaught! that's the place for sport and raking!
Blessings, too, my love, on you, a-sleeping and a-waking!
I'd have met you, dearest Ellen, when the sun went under,
But, woe! the flooding Shannon broke across my path in thunder!

Ellen! I'd give all the deer in Limerick's parks and arbors,
Ay, and all the ships that rode last year in Munster's harbors,
Could I blot from Time the hour I first became your lover,
For, oh! you've given my heart a wound it never can recover!

Would to God that in the sod my corpse to-night were lying,
And the wild-birds wheeling o'er it, and the winds a-sighing,
Since your cruel mother and your kindred choose to sever
Two hearts that Love would blend in one forever and forever.

The Dearest

by John Sterling
born Waterford, 1806 - died, 1844

Oh that from far-away mountains,
Over the restless waves,
Where bubble enchanted fountains,
Rising from jewell'd caves,
I could call a fairy brid,
Who, whenever thy voice was heard,
Should come to thee, dearest!

He should have violent pinions,
And a beak of silver white,
And should bring from the sun's dominions
Eyes that would give thee light.
Thou shouldst see that he was born
In a land of gold and morn,
To be thy servant, dearest!

Oft would be drop on thy tresses
A pearl or a diamond stone,
And would yield to thy light caresses
Blossoms in Eden grown.
Round thy path his wings would shower
Now a gem and now a flower,
And dewy odors, dearest!

He should fetch from his eastern island
The songs that the Peris sing,
And when evening is clear and silent,
Spells to thy ear would bring,
And with his mysterious strain
Would entrance thy weary brain;-
Love's own music, dearest!

No Phoenix, alas! will hover,
Sent from the morning star;
And thou must take of thy lover
A gift not brought so far:
Wanting bird, and gem, and song,
Ah! receive and treasure long
A heart that loves thee, dearest!

Oh, My Love Has An Eye Of The Softest Blue

by Rev. Charles Wolfeby
born Dublin 1791 - died 1823

Oh, my love has an eye of the softest blue,
Yet it was not that that won me;
But a little bright drop from her soul was there,
'Tis that that has undone me.

I might have pass'd that lovely cheek,
Nor perchance my heart have left me;
But the sensitive blush that came trembling there,
Of my heart if forever bereft me.

I might have forgotten that red, red lip,
Yet how from that thought to sever?
But there was a smile from the sunshine within,
And that smile I'll remember forever.

Think not 'tis nothing but lifeless clay,
The elegant form that haunts me;
'Tis the gracefully elegant mind that moves
In every step, that enchants me.

Let me not hear the nightgale sing,
Though I once in its notes delighted;
The feeling and mind that comes whispering forth
Has left me no music beside it.

Who could blame had I loved that face,
Ere my eye could twice explore her;
Yet it is for the fairy intelligence there,
And her warm, warm heart, I adore her.

Oh, my love has an eye of the softest blue,
Yet it was not that that won me;
But a little bright drop from her soul was there,
'Tis that that has undone me.

I might have pass'd that lovely cheek,
Nor perchance my heart have left me;
But the sensitive blush that came trembling there,
Of my heart if forever bereft me.

I might have forgotten that red, red lip,
Yet how from that thought to sever?
But there was a smile from the sunshine within,
And that smile I'll remember forever.

Think not 'tis nothing but lifeless clay,
The elegant form that haunts me;
'Tis the gracefully elegant mind that moves
In every step, that enchants me.

Let me not hear the nightgale sing,
Though I once in its notes delighted;
The feeling and mind that comes whispering forth
Has left me no music beside it.

Who could blame had I loved that face,
Ere my eye could twice explore her;
Yet it is for the fairy intelligence there,
And her warm, warm heart, I adore her.

Mary Draper

By Charles James Lever

'Charles James Lever, a most successful Irish novelist, born in Dublin, August 31, 1806. He was educated for the medical profession, having taken his degree at Trinity College, also a degree at Gottingen, where he afterward studied. During the cholera which visited Ireland in 1832, as medical superintendent, he acquired notable repute for his ability and skill in coping with the disease. Shortly afterward he became attached to the British Legation at Brussels in his professional capacity. Most of his life was passed on the Continent, being appointed to a consular post on the Mediterranean. He died in Trieste in 1872.' John Boyle O'Reilly

Don't talk to me of London dames,
Nor rave about your foreign flames,
That never lived - except in drames,
Nor shone, except on paper;
I'll sing you 'bout a girl I knew
Who lived in Ballywhackmacrew,
And, let me tell you, might few
Could equal Mary Draper.

Her cheeks were red, her eyes were blue,
Her hair was brown of deepest hue,
Her foot was small and neat to view,
Her waist was slight and taper;
Her voice was music to your ear,
A lovely brogue, so rich and clear,
Oh, the like I ne'er again shall hear
As from sweet Mary Draper.

She'd ride a wall, she'd drive a team,
Or with a fly she'd whip a stream,
Or may-be sing you "Rousseau's dream,"
For nothing could escape her;
I've seen her, too - upon my word -
At sixty yards bring down her bird -
Oh! she charm'd all the Forty-third!
Did lovely Mary Draper.

And, at the spring assizes ball,
The junior bar would, one and all,
For all her favorite dances call,
And Harry Deane would caper;
Lord Clare would then forget his lore;
King's counsel, voting law a bore,
Were proud to figure on the floor
For love of Mary Draper.

The parson, priest, sub-sheriff too,
Were all her slaves, and so would you,
If you had only but one view
Of such a face or shape, or
Her pretty ankles - but alone,
It's only west of old Athlone
Such girls were found -
And now they're gone -
So, here's to Mary Draper!

postscript: Harry Deane and Lord Clare mentioned here in the fourth stanza - Harry Deane Grady, a distinguished lawyer on the Western Circuit; Lord Clare, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, celebrated for his hatred of John Philpot Curran (b. 1750 - d. 1817), lawyer, poet and brilliant orator. He (Lord Clare) carried this feeling to the unjust and undignified length of always treating him with disrespect in Court, to the great injury of Curran's practice. On one occasion, when the eminent man was addressing him, Lord Clare turned to a pet dog beside him on the bench, and gave all the attention to his canine favorite which he should have bestowed on the counsel. Curran suddenly stopped. Lord Clare observing this, said, "You may go on, Mr. Curran - I'm listening to you." "I beg pardon for my mistake, my Lord," replied Curran; "I stopped, my Lord, because I thought your 'Charles James Lever, a most successful Irish novelist, born in Dublin, August 31, 1806. He was educated for the medical profession, having taken his degree at Trinity College, also a degree at Gottingen, where he afterward studied. During the cholera which visited Ireland in 1832, as medical superintendent, he acquired notable repute for his ability and skill in coping with the disease. Shortly afterward he became attached to the British Legation at Brussels in his professional capacity. Most of his life was passed on the Continent, being appointed to a consular post on the Mediterranean. He died in Trieste in 1872.' John Boyle O'Reilly

The Widow Malone

Did you hear of the Widow Malone,
Ohone!
Who lived in the town of Athlone?
Ohone!
Oh, she melted the hearts
Of the swains in them parts,
So lovely the Widow Malone.

Of lovers she ahd a full score,
Or more,
And fortunes they all had galore,
In store;
From the minister down
To the clerk of the crown,
All were courting the Widow Malone.

But so modest was Mistress Malone,
'Twas known,
That no one could see her alone,
Ohone!
Let them ogle and sigh,
They could ne'er catch her eye,
So bashful the Widow Malone.

'Till one Mister O'Brien, from Clare, -
How quare!
It's little for blushing they care
Down there,
Put his arm round her waist -
Gave ten kisses at laste -
"Oh," says he, "you're my Molly Malone,
My own!
"Oh," says he, "you're my Molly Malone.

And the widow they all thought so shy,
My eye!
Ne'er thought of a simper or sigh,
For why?
But, "Lucius," says she,
"Since you've now made so free,
You may marry your Molly Malone."
Ohone!
You may marry your Molly Malone."

There's a moral contained in my song,
Not wrong,
And one comfort, it's not very long,
But strong, -
If for widows you die,
Learn to kiss, not to sigh,
For they're all like sweet Mistress Malone,
Ohone!
Oh, they're all like sweet Mistress Malone.

A Visit From My Wife

by O'Donovan Rossa

A single glance, and that glance the first,
And her image was fixed in my mind and nursed;
And now it is woven with all my schemes,
And it rules the realm of all my dreams.

One of Heaven's best gifts in an earthly mould,
With a figure Appelles might paint of old -
All a maiden's charms with a matron's grace,
And the blossom and bloom off the peach in her face.

And the genius that flashes her bright black eye
Is the face of the sun in a clouded sky;
She has noble thoughts - she has noble aims
And these thoughts on her tongue are sparkling gems.

With a gifted mind and spirit meek
She would right the wronged and assist the weak;
She would scorn dangers to cheer the brave,
She would smite oppression and free the slave.

Yet a blighted life is my loved one's part,
And death cold shroud is around her heart,
For winds from the "clouds of fate" have blown
That force her to face the hard world alone.

And a daughter she of trampled land,
With its children exiled, prisoned, banned;
And she vowed her love to a lover whom
The tyrant had marked for a felon's doom.

And snatched from her side erre the honeymoon wanted:
In the dungeons of England he lies enchained;
And the bonds that bind him "for life" a slave
Are binding his love to his living grave.

He would sever the link of such hopeless love,
Were that sentence "for ever" decreed above.
For the pleasures don't pay for the pains of life -
To be living in death with a widowed wife.

A single glance, and that glance the first,
And her image was fixed in my mind and nursed,
And now she's the woof of my worldly schemes,
And she sits enthroned as the queen of my dreams.

Suleima To Her Lover

from the Turkish

Thou reck'nest seven Heavens; I but one:
And thou art it, Beloved! Voice and hand,
And eye and mouth, are but the angel band
Who minister around that highest throne -
Thy godlike heart. And there I reign supreme,
And choose, at will, the angel who I deem
Will sing the sweetest, words I love to hear -
That short, sweet song, whose echo clear
Will last throughout eternity:
"I love thee
How I love thee!"

A La Sombra De Mis Cabellos

from the Spanish

My love lay there,
In the shadow of my hair,
As my glossy raven tresses downward flow;
And dark as midnight's cloud,
They fell o'er him like a cloud,
They fell o'er him like a shroud
: Ah, does he now remember it or no?

With a comb of gold each night
I combed my tresses bright;
But the sportive zephr tossed them to and fro;
So I pressed them in a heap,
For my love whereon to sleep:
Ah! does he now remember it or no?

He said he loved to gaze
On my tresses' flowing maze,
And the midnight of my dark Moorish eyes;
And he vowed 'twould give him pain
Should his love be all in vain;
So he won me with his praises and his sighs.

Then I flung my raven hair
As a mantle o'er him there,
Encircling him within its mazy flow;
And pillowed on my breast,
He lay in sweet unrest.
Ah! does he now remember it or no?

True Love Can Ne'er Forget

by Turlough Carolan (1670-1738)

"True love can ne'er forget;
Fondly as when we met,
Dearest, I love thee yet,
My darling one!"
Thus sung a minstrel gray
His sweet impassion'd lay,
Down by the Ocean's spray,
At set of sun.
But wither'd was the minstrel's sight,
Morn to him was dark as night,
Yet his heart was full of light,
As thus the lay begun:
"True love can ne'er forget;
Fondly as when we met,
Dearest, I love thee yet,
My darling one!

"Long years are past and o'er,
Since from this fatal shore
Cold hearts and cold winds bore
My love from me."
Scarcely the minstrel spoke,
When forth, with flashing stroke,
A boat's light oar the silence broke,
Over the sea.
Soon upon her native strand
Doth a lovely lady land,
While the minstrel's love-taught hand
Did o'er his wild harp run:
"True love can ne'er forget;
Fondly as when we met,
Dearest, I love thee yet
My darling one!"

Where the minstrel sat alone,
There that lady fair had gone,
Within his hand she placed her own.
The bard dropp'd on his knee!
>From his lips soft blessings came,
He kiss'd her hand with truest flame,
In trembling tones he names - HER name,
Though her he could not see;
But oh! - the touch the bard could tell
Of that dear hand, remember'd well
. Ah! - by many a secret spell
Can true love find his own;
For true love can ne'er forget;
Fondly as when they met,
He loved his lady yet,
His darling one!

What is Love

from 'Blanid'

What is this love, - this love that makes
My heart's warm pulses quiver?
They say it is the power that wakes
The hyacinth 'mid hazel brakes,
The lilies by the river,
And that same thing that bids the dove
Sit in the pine-tree high above,
Its sweetheart wooing;
But oh! alas! wate'er it be,
It comes for my undoing!

The lily of the river side
By its sweet mate reposes
Through autumn moons and winter-tide,
To wake in love and beauty's pride
When comes the time of roses;
And in the springing of the year
The doves' sweet voices you will hear
Their vows renewing;
But oh! alas! whate'er love be,
And howsoe'er it comes to me,
It comes for my undoing!

In Life's Young Morning

To My Wife
air - "the woods in bloom"
by Robert Dwyer Joyce

In life's young morning I quaffed the wine
From Love's bright bowl as it sparkling came,
And it warms me ever, that draught divine,
When I think of thee, dearest, or name thy name
. The night may fall, and the winds may blow
From palace gardens or place of tombs,
Yet I dream of our Love-time long ago
Beneath the yellow laburnum blooms.

Gay was the garden, bright shone the bower,
Like a golden tent 'neath the summer skies,
The sunbeams glittered on leaf and flower,
And light of heaven seemed in your eyes;
The night may fall, and the winds may blow,
But gladness ever my heart assumes
>From that wine of love quaffed long ago
Beneath the yellow labrnum blooms.

O'er vale and forest dark falls the night,
Yet my heart goes back to the sun and shine
When you stood in the glory of girlhood bright
Neath the golden blossoms, your hand in mine;
The night may fall, the winds may blow,
And the greenwoods wither 'neath winter glooms;
Yet it lives forever, that long ago,
Beneath the yellow laburnum blooms.

Through the misty night to the eye and ear
Come the glitter of flowers and the songs of birds, -
Come thy looks of fondness to me so dear,
And thy witching smiles and thy loving words;
The night may fall and the winds may blow,
But that hour forever my soul illumes,
- Our golden Love-time long ago,
Beneath the yellow laburnum blooms.

Song

also from "Blanid"
by Thomas Dwyer Joyce

"O Wind of the west that bringest,
O'er wood and lea,
Perfume of flowers from my lady's bowers
And a strain and a melody, -
While soft 'mid the bloom thou singest
Thy songs of laughter and sighs,
Steal in where my darling lies
With a kiss to her mouth from me!

"White Rose, when at morn thou twinest
Her lattice fair,
Wave to and fro in the fresh sun's glow
Till she wakes and beholds thee there; -
When over her brow thou shinest,
Then whisper from me, and press
On her dear head one fond caress,
And a kiss on her yellow hair!

"Oh Rose! and O Wind that found her
'Mid morning's glee!
While the noon goes by, keep ever nigh
With your beauty and melody; -
With your smile and song stay round her
Till she closes her eyelids bright;
Then give her a sweet Good-night
And a kiss on the lips for me!"

Her Refrain

"Do you love me?" she said, when the skies were blue,
And we walked were the stream through the branches glistened;
And I told and retold her my love was true,
While she listened and smiled, and smiled and listened.

"Do you love me?" she whispered, when days were drear,
And her eyes searched mine with a patient yearning;
And I kissed her, renewing the words so dear,
While she listened and smiled, as if slowly learning. >[? "Do you love me?" she asked, when we sat at rest
By the stream enshadowed with autumn glory;
Her cheek had been laid as in peace on my breast,
But she raised it to ask for the sweet old story.

And I said: "I will tell her the tale again -
I will swear by the earth and the stars above me!"
And I told her that uttermost time should prove
The fervor and faith of my perfect love;

And I vowed it and pledged it that nought should move;
While she listened and smiled in my face, and then
She whispered once more,
"Do you truly love me?"

Love's Secret

By John Boyle O'Reilly

Love found them sitting in a woodland place,
His amorous hand amid her golden tresses;
And Love looked smiling on her glowing face
And moistened eyes upturned to his carresses.

"O sweet," she murmured, "life is utter bliss!"
"Dear heart," he said, "our golden cup runs over!"
"Drink, love," she cried, "and thank the gods for this!"
He drained the precious lips of cup and lover.

Love blessed the kiss; but, ere he wandered thence,
The mated bosoms heard this benedicition:
"Love lies within the brimming bowl of sense:
Who keeps this full has joy - who drinks affliction."

They heard the rustle as he smiling fled:
She reached her hand to pull the roses blowing.
He stretched to take the purple grapes o'er-head;
Love whispered back, "Nay, their beauties growing."

They paused, and understood: one flower alone
They took and kept, and Love flew smiling over.
Their roses bloomed, their cup went brimming on -
She looked for Love within, and found her lover.

Love's Sacrifice

by John Boyle O'Reilly

Love's Herald flew o'er all the fields of Greece,
Crying: "Love alter waits for sacrifice!"
And all folk answered, like a wave of peace,
With treasured offerings and gifts of price.

Toward high Olympus every white road filled
With pilgrims streaming to the blest abode;
Each bore rich tribute, some for joys fulfilled,
And some for blisses lingering on the road.

The pious peasant drives his laden car;
The fisher youth bears treasure from the sea;
A wife brings honey for the sweets that are;
A maid brings roses for the sweets to be.

Here strides the soldier with his wreathed sword,
No more to glitter in his country's wars;
There walks the poet with his mystic word,
And smiles at Eros' mile recruit from Mars.

But midst these bearers of propitious gifts,
Behold where two, a youth and maiden stand;
She bears no boon; his arm no burden lifts,
Save her dear finger pressed within his hand.

Their touch ignites the soft delicious fire,
Whose rays the very altar-flames eclipse;
Their eyes are on each other - sweet desire
And yearning passion tremble on their lips.

So fair - so strong! Ah, Love! what errant wiles
Have brought these two so poor and so unblest?
But see! Instead of anger, Cupid smiles;
And lo! he crowns their sacrifice as best!

Their hands are empty, but their hearts are filled;
Their gifts so rare for all the host suffice;
Beore the alter is their life-wine spilled -
The love they long for is their sacrifice.

The Girl I Love

The Girl I Love Súd i síos an caóin ban álain óg
translated from the Irish by J. J. Callanan
born in Cork in 1795, died in Lisbon Portugal 1827

"A large proportion of the songs I have met with are love songs. Somehow or other, truly or untruly, the Irish have obtained a character for gallantry...At their dances (of which they are very fond) whether a-field or in ale-house, a piece of gallantry frequently occurs, which is alluded to in the following song. A young man, smitten suddenly by the charms of a danseuse belonging to a company to which he is a stranger, rises, and with his best bow offers her his glass and requests her to drink to him. After due refusal, it is usually accepted, and is looked on as a good omen of successful wooing....The parties may be totally unacquianted, and perhaps never meet again, under which circumstances it would appear that this song was written" preface by John Boyle O' Reilly

The girl I love is comely, straight, and tall,
Down her white neck her auburn tresses fall;
Her dress is neat, her carriage light and free -
Here's a health to that charming maid, who'er she be!

The rose's blush but fades beside her cheek,
Her eyes are blue, her forehead pale and meek,
Her lips like cherries on a summer tree -
Here's a health to the charming maid, who'er she be!

When I go to the field no youth can lighter bound,
And I freely pay when the cheerful jug does round;
The barrel is full, but its heart we soon shall see -
Come, here's to that charming maid, who'er she be!

Had I the wealth that props the Saxon's reign,
Or the diamond crown that decks the King of Spain,
I'd yield them all if she kindly smiled on me
Here's a health to the maid I love, who'er she be!

Five pounds of gold for each lock of her hair I'd pay,
And five times five for my love one hour each day;
Her voice is more sweet than the thrush on its own green tree -
Then, my dear, may I drink a fond deep health to thee!

"Laddle of Buchan"

Song Air - "Laddle of Buchan"
translated from the Irish by J. J. Callanan

Awake thee, my Bessy, the morning is fair,
The breath of young roses is fresh on the air,
The sun has long glanced over mountain and lake -
Then awake from thy slumbers, my Bessy, awake.

Oh, come whilst the flowers are still wet with the dew -
I'll gather the fairest, my Bessy, for you;
The lark poureth forth his sweet strain for thy sake -
Then awake from thy slumbers, my Bessy, awake.

The hare from her soft bed of heather hath gone,
The coot to the water already hath flown;
There is life on the mountain and joy on the lake -
Then awake from thy slumbers, my Bessy, awake.

"The Coolun"

Irish Rustic Ballad
translated from the Irish by Samuel Ferguson

Samuel Ferguson, poet and writer of historical romance, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1815. He was educated at the Belfast Academical Institute, also at the Universtiy of Dublin...He was admitted to the Irish bar in 1838. Ferguson (the original of which is McFergus) is a descendant from an ancient Celtic family; which ancestry is accountable for the wonderful power and energy, combined with the sweetness and descriptive beauty, which are the leading characteristics of his writings. During his earlier years his youthful imagination found more enjoyment in gratifying his natural love of literature. he became a contributor to the Dublin University Magazine, in whose pages frist appeared his fine romances of Irish History. As a translator of Irish ballads he is unrivalled. The latter years of Ferguson's life have been devoted almost entirely to his profession, working faithfully and earnestly...He died in August, 1886.' John Boyle O'Reilly

Oh, had you seen the Coolun
Walking down by the cuckoo's street,
With the dew of the meadow shining
On her milk-white twinkling feet!
My love she is, and my coleen oge,
And she dwells in Bal'nagar;
And she bears the palm of beauty bright
From the fairest that Erin are.

In Bal'nagar is the Coolun,
Like the berry on the bough her cheek;
Bright beauty dwells forever
On her fair neck and ringlets sleek;
Oh, sweet is her mouth's soft music
Than the lark or thrush at dawn,
Or the blackbird in the greenwood singing
Farewell to the setting sun.

Rise up, my boy! make ready
My horse, for I forth would ride,
To follow the modest damsel,
Where she walks on the green hill side;
For, ever since our youth were we plighted,
In faith, truth, and wedlock true -
She is sweeter to me nine times over,
Than organ or cuckoo!

For, ever since my childhood
I loved the fair and darling child;
But our people came between us,
And the lucre our pure love defiled;
Oh, my woe it is, and my bitter pain,
And I weep at night and day,
That the coleen bawn of my early love
Is torn from my heart away.

Sweetheart and faithful treasure,
Be constant still, and true;
Nor for want of herds and houses
Leave one who would ne'er leave you;
I'll pledge you the blessed Bible,
Without and eke within,
That the faithful God will provide for us,
Without thanks to kith or kin.

Oh, love, do you remember
When we lay all night alone
Beneath the ash in the winter-storm,
When the oak wood round did groan?
No shelter then from the blast had we,
The bitter blast or sleet,
But your gown to wrap about our heads,
And my coat round our feet.

"Cean Dubh Deelish"

Cean Dubh Deelish (i.e. dear black head)
translated from the Irish by Samuel Ferguson

Put your head, darling, darling, darling,
Your darling black head my heart above;
Oh, mouth of honey, with the thyme for fragrance,
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?
Oh, many and many a young girl for me is pining,
Letting her locks of gold to the cold wind free,
For me, the foremost of our gay young fellows;
But I'd leave a hundred, pure love, for thee!
Then put your head, darling, darling, darling,
Your darling black head my heart above;
Oh, mouth of honey, with the thyme for fragrance,
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?

"Hopeless Love"

Since hopeless of thy love I go,
Some little mark of pity show;
And only one kind parting look bestow, -

One parting look of pity mild
On him, through starless tempest wild,
Who lonely hence to-night must go, exiled.

But even rejected love can warm
The heart through night and storm;
And unrelenting though they be,
Thine eyes beam life on me.

And I will bear that look benign
Within this darkly-troubled breast to shine,
Though never, never can thyself, ah me, be mine!

"The Fair Hair'd Girl"

translanslated from the Irish by Samuel Ferguson

The Fair-Hair'd Girl
Irish Song

The sun has set, the stars are still,
The red moon hides behind the hill;
The tide has left the brown beach bare,
The birds have fled the upper air;
Upon her branch the lone cuckoo
Is chanting still her sad adieu;
And you, my fair-hair'd girl, must go
Across the salt sea under woe!

I through love have learn'd three things,
Sorrow, sin, and death it brings;
Yet day by day my heart within
Dares shame and sorrow, death and sin;
Maiden, you have aim'd the dart
Rankling in my ruin'd heart;
Maiden, may the God above
Grant you grace to grant me love!

Sweeter than the viol's string,
And the notes that blackbirds sing;
Brighter than the dewdrops rare
Is the maiden wondrous fair;
Like the silver swans at play
Is her neck, as bright as day!
Woe is me, that e'er my sight
Dwelt on charms so deadly bright!

"Molly Astor"

Irish Song

Oh, Mary dear, or, Mary fair,
Oh, branch of generous stem,
White blossom of the banks of Nair,
Though lilies grow on them!
You've left me sick at heart for love,
So faint I cannot see,
The candle swims the board above, -
I'm drunk for love of thee!
Oh, stately stem of maiden pride,
My woe it is, and pain,
That I, thus sever'd from thy side,
The long night must remain!

Through all the towns of Innisfail
I've wander'd far and wide;
But from Downpatrick to Kinsale,
From Carlow to Kilbride,
'Mong lords and dames of high degree
Where'er my feet have gone,
My Mary, one to equal thee
I've never look'd upon;
I live in darkness and in doubt
Whene'er my love's away,
But, were the blessed sun put out,
Her shadow would make day!

'Tis she indeed, young bud of bliss,
And gentle as she's fair,
Though lily-white her bosom is,
And sunny-bright her hair,
And dewy-azure her blue eye,
And rosy-red her cheek, -
Yet brighter she in modesty,
More beautifully meek!
The world's wise men from north to south
Can never cure my pain;
But one kiss from her honey mouth
Would make me whole again!

"The Dear Old Air"

Misfortune's train may chase our joys,
But not our love;
And I those pensive looks will prize,
The smiles of joy above;
Your tender looks of love shall still
Delight and console;
Even though your eyes the tear-drops fill
Beyond your love's control.

Of troubles past we will not speak,
Or future woe;
Nor mark, thus leaning cheek to cheek,
the stealing tear-drops flow;
But I'll sing you the dear old Irish air,
Soothing and low,
You loved so well when, gay and fair,
You won me long ago.

"Remembered"

by Katharine Conway
born to Irish Catholic parents at Rochester, New York, 1853.

Remembered thus, my dearest! remembered! can it be!
That, after all my waywardness, I'm still so dear to thee?
Though changed thy outward seeming, that thy heart no change hath known,
And the love I thought had left me is still my own - my own?

O I remebered! but I said, "I, too, can be unheeding."
With smiling eyes and aching heart I stilled sweet memory's pleading -
Or dreamed I stilled it - murmuring, "soon shall my strength atone
For the cares and joys he shares not, and the triumphs won alone."

One word from thee, beloved, and the pent-up fount's unsealed,
And all my self-deceiving to sense and soul revealed,
And all that lonesome, toilsome past clear-pictured unto me, -
O it never had a day, dear, unlit by prayer for thee!

Fore'er divided? - yea, for earth; but our loves have wider scope,
And the bonds between us strengthen with our strong supernal hope,
For oh, my friend, my dearest, how God's love halloweth
This love that, unaffrighted, look is in the face of Death!

"Brighidin Ban Mo Store"

Brighidin Ban Mo Store by Edward Walsh, teacher and poet
born in Londenderry, 1805, and died in Cork, 1850

Brighidin ban mo stor is in English 'fair young bride', or 'Bridget my treasure'. The proper sound of this phrase is not easily found in English-speaking Irish. It is as if written, "Bree-dheen-bawn-mu-sthore". The proper name Brighit, or Bride, signifies a 'fiery dart', and was the name of the goddess of poetry in the Pagan days of Ireland
.

I am a wand'ring minstrel man,
And Love my only theme,
I've stray'd beside the pleasant Bann
, And eke the Shannon's stream;
I've piped and play'd to wife and maid
By Barrow, Suir, and Nore,
But never met a maiden yet
Like Brighidin Ban Mo Store.

My girl hath ringlets rich and rare,
By Nature's fingers wove -
Loch-Carra's swan is not so fair
As is her breast of Love;
And when she moves, in Sunday sheen,
Beyond our cottage door,
I'd scorn the high-born Saxon queen
For Brighidin Ban Mo Store.

It is not that thy smile is sweet,
And soft thy voice of song -
It is not that thou fleest to meet
My comings lone and long;
But that doth rest beneath thy breast
A heart of purest core,
Whose pulse is known to me alone,
My Brighidin Ban Mo Store.

"The Ladye Of Lee"

The Ladye Of Lee by Rev. Francis Mahony ("Father Prout")

charming poet and versatile writer, born in Cork about 1803; he died in Paris, May 19, 1866. His remains were brought to Cork and buried under the shadow of Shandon Steeple.

There's a being bright, whose beams
Light my days and gild my dreams,
Till my life all sunshine seems -
'tis the ladye of Lee.

Oh! the joy that Beauty brings,
While her merry laughter rings,
And her voice of silver sings -
how she loves but me!

There's grace in every limb,
There's a charm in every whim,
And the diamond cannot dim -
the dazzling of her e'e.

There's a light amid
The lustre of her lid,
That from the crowd is hid-
and only I can see.

'Tis the glance by which is shown
That she loves but me alone;
That she is all mine own -
this ladye of Lee.

Then say, can it be wrong,
If the burden of my song
Be, how fondly I'll belong
to this ladye of Lee!

"Farewell! But Whenever You Welcome The Hour"

by Thomas Moore

Farewell! but whenever you welcome the hour
That awakens the night-song of mirth in your bower,
Then think of the friend who once welcomed it too,
And forgot his own griefs to be happy with you.
His griefs may return - not a hope may remain
Of the few that have brighen'd his pathway of pain -
But he ne'er will forget the short vision that threw
Its enchantment around him while ling'ring with you!

And still on that evening, when pleasure fills up
To the highest top sparkle each heart and each cup,
Where'er my path lies, be it gloomy or bright,
My soul, happy friends! shall be with you that night;
Shall join in your revels, your sports, and your wiles,
And return to me beaming all o'er with your smiles! -
Too blest, if it tells me that, 'mid the gay cheer,
Some kind voice had murmur'd, "I wish he were here!"

Let fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;
And which come, in the night-time sorrow and care,
To bring back the features that joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories fill'd!
Like the vase in which roses have once been distill'd -
You may break, you may ruin the vase, if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.

"I'd Mourn The Hopes"

by Thomas Moore

I'd mourn the hopes that leave me,
If thy smiles had left me too;
I'd weep, when friends deceive me,
If thou wert, like them, untrue.
But while I've thee before me,
With heart so warm and eyes so bright,
No clouds can linger o'er me,
That smile turns them all to light!

'Tis not in fate to harm me.
While fate leaves thy love to me;
'Tis not in joy to charm me,
Unless joy be shared with thee.
One minute's dream bout thee
Were worth a long, an endless year
Of waking bliss without thee,
My own love, my only dear!

And though the hope be gone, love,
That long sparkled o'er our way,
Oh! we shall journey on, love,
More safely without its ray.
Far better lights shall win me
Along the path I've yet to roam -
The mind that burns within me,
And pure smiles from thee at home.

Thus, when the lamp that lighted
The traveller, at first, goes out,
He feels a while benighted,
And looks round in fear and doubt.
But soon, the prospect clearing,
By cloudless starlight on he treads,
And thinks no lamp so cheering
As that light which Heaven sheds.

"Come, Rest In This Bosom"

by Thomas Moore

Come, rest in this bosom, my own sticken dear!
Though the herd have fled from thee, thy home is still here;
Here still is the smile that no cloud can o'er cast,
That the heart and the hand all thy own to the last!

Oh! what was love made for, if 'tis not the same
Through joy and through torments, through glory and shame?
I know not, I ask not, if guilt's in that heart,
I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art!

Thou has call'd me thy angel in moments of bliss,
Still thy angel I'll be, 'mid the horrors of this, -
Through the furnace, unshrinking, thy steps to pursue,
And shield thee, and save thee, or perish there too!

"Written In The Blank Leaf Of A Lady's Common-Place Book"

by Thomas Moore

Here is one leaf reserved for me,
From all thy sweet memorials free;
And here my simple song might tell
The feelings thou must guess so well.
But could I thus, within thy mind,
One little vacant corner find,
Where no impression yet is seen,
Where no memorial yet has been,
Oh! it should be my sweetest care
To write my name forever there!

"The Surprise"

The Surprise by Thomas Moore

Chloris, I swear, by all I ever swore,
That from this hour I shall not love thee more -
"What! love no more? Oh! why this alter'd vow?"
Because I CANNOT love thee MORE than NOW!

"A Dream"

by Thomas Moore

I thought this heart consuming lay
On Cupid's burning shrine;
I thought he stole thy heart away,
And placed it near to mine.

I saw thy heart begin to melt
Like ice before the sun;
Till both a glow congenial felt,
And mingled into one!

"Drink To Her"

Drink To Her by Thomas Moore

Drink to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh;
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy.
Oh! woman's heart was made
For minstrel hands alone!
By other fingers play'd,
It yields not half the tone.
Then here's to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy!

At beauty's door of glass
When wealth and wit once stood,
They ask'd her, "which might pass?"
She answer'd, "He who could."
With golden key wealth though
To pass - but 'twould not do;
While wit a diamond brought
Which cut his bright way through!
Then here's to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy!

The love that seeks a home
Where wealth and grandeur shines,
Is like the gloomy gnome
That dwells in dark gold mines
. But oh! the poet's love
Can boast a brighter sphere;
Its native home's above,
though woman keeps it here!
Then drink to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,

"GLORY TO THE BRAVE"

Submitted by: johnp.boss@juno.com

This is a prayer from Viking mythology.

Lo, there do I see my Father..
. Lo, there do I see my Mother and my Sisters and my Brothers...
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning...
Thay do bid me to take my place among them...
In the Halls of Valhalla,
Where the Brave may live forever.

"Joy's Immortality"

There are the trees that saw them pass
The happy fields among,
When they were only lad and lass,
That now are dead so long.

When they were only lass and lad,
The nesting birds would sing
As though their little hearts were mad
With the new wine of spring.

And far across the wooded vale,
How clear and sweet and strong
The love-bedrunken nightingale
Would sing their mating song!

They saw the summer glories glow
And rain of autumn leaves,
Nor wept that earth's own kind should go
Where earth's own bosom heaves.

And they are gone! The trees remain,
The birds are singing still,
The footsteps of the wind and rain
Are silver on the hill.

But still I see them dancing on,
The bridegroom and the bride;
The pained and mortal flesh is gone,
The immortal joys abide.

Their eyes in every flower are glad,
Their voice in every song,
As they were still but lass and lad
That now are dead so long.

"Marriage"

Dear, we are younger and happier than that day
When you and I and Love were left alone
And the world's laughter and sadness died away
Into a rapt and exquisite monotone;
We have lived and striven, not songless in the strife,
We have known good things and ill and either star;
We are younger than these lives born of our life,
We are happier than these little laughters are.

For life has given us this good gift: to know
The harmony in difference and that strain
Of humours unresolved that keeps us two;
Two souls that with a separate radiance glow,
Not to one dullness fused; that still retain
This You and I not less than I and You.

"Women"

Of women no more evil will I say,
The lightsome loves that help my heart to live
- The sun sees nothing sweeter on his way -
They pledge their faith and break it. I forgive,
All I forgive and scandal them no more.
I am their servant. Let the witless jeer,
Though their slain loves are numbered by the score,
I love them living and their ghosts are dear.
The cunning wits are loud in their dispraise,
And yet I know not. If their breed should fail,
What comfort were in all the world's wide ways?
A flowerless earth, a sea without a sail.
If these were gone that make earth Heaven for men,
Love them or hate, 'twere little matter then.

"The Curse :-)"

(here is a poem made by a farmer of Fingal abusing his nag because it threw him into a deep dirty pool just in front of the girl he was going to court.)

You brindled beast through whom I've lost her!
Out of my sight! the devil take you!
And, 'pon my soul! this is no jest,
This year I'll rest not till I break you.

Satanic Ananias blast you!
Is that the way you learned to carry?
Your master in the mud to hurl
Before the girl he meant to marry.

The everlasting night fiend ride you!
My curse cling closer than your saddle!
Hell's ravens pick your eyes like eggs!
You scarecrow with your legs astraddle!

And it was only yesterday too
I gave the stable-boy a shilling
To stuff your belly full of hay
For fear you'd play this trick, you villain!

I gave you oats, you thankless devil!
And saved your life, you graceless fiend, you!
From ragged mane to scrubby tail
I combed and brushed and scraped and cleaned you.

You brute! the devil scorch and burn you!
You had a decent mare for mother,
And many a pound I've spent on hay
To feed you one day and another.

The best of reins, the finest saddle,
Good crupper and good pad together,
Stout hempen girth - for these I've paid,
And breastplate made of Spanish leather.

What's the excuse? What blindness caused it?
That bias in your indirections
That made a windmill of your legs
And lost for good my Meg's affections.

With my left spur I'll slash and stab you
And run it through the heart within you
And with the right I'll take great lumps
Out of your rumps until I skin you.

If ever again I go a-courting
Across your back - may Hellfire melt you! -
Then may I split my fork in twain
And lose the girl again as well too!

"Love's Wing"

In all winged Heaven there is
No wing to match with this:
Those lift but air and brightness,
This lends to earthborn clay a lovelier lightness.

"The Hedge-Schoolmaster to his Love"

O Dearest of dear ones, O sweeter than sweetness!
Than the birds on the mountains more fleet in your fleetness,
With your hair on the wind like a stream of fine amber,
You came through the mist like the sun in September.

As I went at your side in the midst of your brightness,
Like a silver swayed birch was your lithe lissom lightness,
Your hand was in mine and our hearts beat together
And little we cared for the world and its weather.

Below in the town they were wrangling and brawling,
On the high hills of heaven the soft rain was falling,
The soft rain, the sweet rain, so silverly shining,
That it charmed us and lulled us till day was declining.

Then, hand clasped in hand, with a riot of laughter,
We ran to the town and the rain followed after,
Till he tired at the last of his splashing and streaming,
And the lovely lit stars through our window came dreaming.

"THE FOUR-LEAVED SHAMROCK"

by Samuel Lover
novelist, poet, musician and artist
born Dublin, 1797 - d. 1868

(a four-leaved Shamrock is of such rarity that it is supposed to endue the finder with magic power)

I'll seek a four-leaved shamrock in all the fairy dells,
And if I find the charmed laves, or, how I'll weave my spells!
I would not waste my magic might on diamond, pearl, or gold,
For treasure tires the weary sense, such triumph is but cold;
But I would p[lay the enchanter's part, in casting bliss around -
Oh! not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found!

To worth I would give honor! - I'd dry the mourner's tears,
And to the pallid lip recall the smile of happier years,
And hearts that had been long estranged, and friends that had grown cold,
Should meet again - like parted streams - and mingle as of old;
Oh! thus I'd play the enchanter's part, thus scatter bliss around,
And not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found!

The heart that had been mourning o'er vanish'd dreams of love,
Should see them all returning - like Noah's faithful dove,
And Hope should launch her bless'd bark on Sorrow's darkening sea,
And Misery's children have an ark, and saved from sinking be;
Oh! thus I'd play the enchanter's part, thus scatter bliss around,
And not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found!

The Passing of the Gael
From Ethna Carbery's "The Four Winds of Eirinn"

They are going, going, going from the valleys and the hills
They are leaving far behind them heathery moor and mountain rills,
All the wealth of hawthorn hedges where the brown thrush sways and thrills
They are going, shy-eyed cailins, and lads so straight and tall
From the purple peaks of Kerry, from the crags of wild Imaal,
From the greening plains of Mayo, and the glens of Dangle

They are leaving pleasant places,shores with snowy sands outspread;
Blue and lonely lakes a-stirring when the wind stirs overhead;
Tender living hearts that love them, and the graves of kindred dead
. They shall carry to the distant land a tear-drop in the eye
And some shall go uncomforted, their days an endless sigh
For Kathalen No Houlihan's sad face until they die.

Oh,Kathaleen No Houlihan, your road's a thorny way,
And 'tis a faithful soul would walk on the flints with you for aye,
Would walk the sharp and cruel flints until his locks grew grey,
So some must wander to the East, and some must wander West;
Some seek the white wastes of the North and some a Southern nest;
Yet never shall they sleep so sweet as on your mother breast.

Within the city streets, hot hurried full of care
A sudden dream shall bring them a whiff of Irish air --
A cool air, faintly-scented, blown soft from otherwhere
Oh, the cabins long-deserted! Olden memories awake.
Oh, the pleasant, pleasant places! Hush! the blackbird in the brake!
Oh, the dear and kindly voices! Now their hearts are fain to ache.

And no foreign skies hold beauty like the rainy skies they knew;
Nor any night-wind cool the brow as did the foggy dew.
They are going, going, going and we cannot bid them stay:
Their fields are now the stranger's,where the stranger's cattle stray,
Oh! Kathaleen No Houlihan, your way's a thorny way!

Living
by John Boyle O'Reilly

To toil all day and lie worn-out at night;
To rise for all the years to slave and sleep,
And breed new broods to do no other thing
In toiling, bearing, breeding - life is this
To myriad men, too base for man or brute.

To serve for common duty, while the brain
Is hot with high desire to be distinct;
To fill the sand-grain place among the stones
That build the social wall in million sameness,
To life by leave, and death by insignificance.

To live the morbid years, with dripping blood
Of sacrificial labor for a Thought;
To take the dearest hope and lay it down
Beneath the crushing wheels for love of Freedom;
To bear the sordid jeers of cant and trade,
And go on hewing for a far ideal,
This were a life worth giving to a cause,
If cause be found so worth a martyr life.

But highest life of man, nor work nor sacrifice,
But utter seeing of the things that be!
To pass amid the hurrying crowds, and watch
The hungry race for things of vulgar use;
To mark the growth of baser lines in men;
To note the bending to a servile rule;
To know the natural discord called disease
That rots like rust the blood and souls of men;
To test the wisdom's and philosophies by touch
Of that which is immutable, being clear,
The beam God opens to the poet's brain;
To see with eyes of pity laboring souls
Strive upward to the Freedom and the Truth,
And still be backward dragged by fear and ignorance;
To see the beauty of the world, and hear
The rising harmony of growth, whose shade
Of undertone is harmonized decay,
To know that love is life - that blood is one
And rushes to the union - that the heart
Is like a cup athirst for wine of love;
Who sees and feels this meaning utterly,
The wrong of law, the right of man, the natural truth,
Partaking not of selfish aims, withholding not
The word that strengthens and the hand that helps;
Who waits and sympathizes with the pettiest life,
And loves all things, and reaches up to God
With thanks and blessing - he alone is living.

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