Alfred Perceval Graves.

Songs of Irish wit and humour online

. (page 2 of 9)
Online LibraryAlfred Perceval GravesSongs of Irish wit and humour → online text (page 2 of 9)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Och hone ! wirrasthrue !
I'm alone in this world without you.

Och hone ! by the man in the moon,
You taze me all ways
That a woman can plaze,
For you dance twice as high with that thief Pat

As when you take share of a jig, dear, with me,


Tho' the piper I bate,

For fear the owld chate
Wouldn't play you your, favourite tune ;

And when you're at mass

My devotion you crass,

For 'tis thinking of you ,

I am, Molly Carew ;

While you wear, on purpose, a bonnet so deep,
That I can't at your sweet purty face get a peep :

Oh, lave oif that bonnet,

Or else I'll lave on it
The loss of my wandherin' sowl !

Och hone ! wirrasthrue !

Och hone ! like an owl,
Day is night, dear, to me, without you !

Och hone ! don't provoke me to do it ;
For there's girls by the score
That love me and more ;
And you'd look very quare if some morning you'd


My weddin' all marchin' in pride down the sthreet ;
Throth, you'd open your eyes,
And you'd die with surprise,
To think 'twasn't you was come to it !
And, faith, Katty Naile,
And her cow, I go bail,


Would jump if I'd say

' Katty Naile 3 name the day/

And tho' you're fair and fresh as a morning in May,
While she's short and dark like a cowld winther's day,

Yet if you don't repent

Before Easther, when Lent
Is over I'll marry for spite ;

Och hone ! wirrasthrue !

And when I die for you,
My ghost will haunt you every night.



time I've lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing

The light that lies

In woman's eyes
Has been my heart's undoing.
Tho' Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn'd the love she brought me,

My only books

Were woman's looks,
And folly all they taught me.

Her smile when Beauty granted,
I hung with gaze enchanted,
Like him, the Sprite,
Whom maids by night
Oft meet in glen that's haunted,


Like him, too, Beauty won me ;
But while her eyes were on me,

If once their ray

Was turn'd away,
Oh ! winds could not outrun me.

And are those follies going ?
And is my proud heart growing

Too cold, or wise,

For brilliant eyes
Again to set it glowing ?
No vain, alas ! th' endeavour
From bonds so sweet to sever

Poor Wisdom's chance

Against a glance
Is now as weak as ever !



k H, my fair Pastheen is my heart's delight,

Her gay heart laughs in her blue eye bright;
Like the apple-blossom her bosom white,
And her neck like the swan's on a March morn bright.
Then Oro, come with me, come with me, come with


Oro, come with me, brown girl sweet !
And oh ! I would go through snow and sleet,
If you would come with me, my brown girl sweet !

Love of my heart, my fair Pastheen !
Her cheeks are red as the rose's sheen ;
But my lips have tasted no more, I ween,
Than the glass I drank to the health ol my queen.
Then Oro, &c.


( Trans, front the Celtic by
Sir Samuel Ferguson.)


IVE Isaac the nymph who no beauty can

But health and good humour to make her his

toast ;

If straight, I don't mind whether slender or fat,
And six feet or four we'll ne'er quarrel for that.

Whate'er her complexion, I vow I don't care :
If brown, it is lasting more pleasing, if fair ;
And though in her face I no dimples should see,
Let her smile and each dell is a dimple to me.

Let her locks be the reddest that ever were seen,
And her eyes may be e'en any colour but green ;
For in eyes, though so various the lustre and hue,
I swear I've no choice only let her have two.

SONG. 33

Tis true I'd dispense with a throne on her back ;
And white teeth, I own, are genteeler than black ;
A little round chin, too, 's a beauty, I've heard ;
But I only desire she mayn't have a beard.




JIT ' VE been soft in a small way
^li On the girleens of Galway,

And the Limerick lasses have made me feel quare ;
But there's no use denyin'
No girl I've set eye on
Could compate wid Rose Ryan of the town of Kenmare.

Oh, where
Can her like be found ?


The country round,
Spins at her wheel

Daughter as true,
Sets in the reel,

Wid a slide of the shoe,
A slinderer,

Colleen than you,
Rose, aroo !


Her hair mocks the sunshine,

And the soft silver moonshine
Her white arm and bosom completely eclipse ;

Whilst the nose of the jewel

Slants straight as Cam Tual

From the heaven in her eye to her heather- sweet lips.
Oh, where, &c.

Did your eyes ever follow
The wings of the swallow,

Here and there, light as air, o'er the meadow-field
glance ?

For, if not, you've no notion
Of the exquisite motion

Of her sweet little feet as they dart in the dance,
Oh, where, &c.

If y' enquire why the nightingale

Still shuns the invitin' gale
That wafts every song-bird but her to the West,

Faix, she knows, I suppose,

Ould Kenmare has a rose

That would sing any Bulbul to sleep in her nest.
Oh, where, &c.

When her voice gives the warnin'
For the milkin' in the mornin','

Ev'n the cow known for hornin' comes runnin' to her
pail j D 2


The lambs play about her
And the small bonneens l snout her,
Whilst their parints salute her wid a twisht of the tail.
Oh, where, &c.

When at noon from our labour

We draw neighbour wid neighbour
From the heat of the sun to the shilter of the tree,

Wid spuds 2 fresh from the bilin'

And new milk you come smilin',
All the boys' hearts beguilin', Alanna machree !
Oh, where, &c.

But there's one sweeter hour,

When the hot day is o'er,
And we rest at the door wid the bright moon above,

And she sittin' in the middle,

When she's guessed Larry's riddle,
Cries, ' Now for your fiddle, my love, my love.'
Oh, where, &c.

' Bonneens,' young pigs. 2 ' Spuds,' potatoes.

8 * Alanna machree,' my hf art's darling.


V>p HOUGH cause for suspicion appears,
~l Yet proofs of her love, too, are strong ;
I'm a wretch if I'm right in my fears,

And unworthy of bliss if I'm wrong.
What heart-breaking torments from jealousy flow,
Ah ! none but the jealous the jealous can know !

When blest with the smiles of my fair,

I know not how much I adore :
Those smiles let another but share,

And I wonder I prized them no more !
Then whence can I hope a relief from my woe,
When the falser she seems, still the fonder I grow !



have dark lovely looks on the shores where

the Spanish
From their gay ships came gallantly forth,
And the sweet shrinking violets sooner will vanish

Than modest blue eyes from our north ;
But oh ! if the fairest of fair-daughtered Erin

Gathered round at her golden request,
There's not one of them all that she'd think worth

With Nancy, the pride of the west.

You'd suspect her the statue the Greek fell in love

If you chanced on her musing alone,
Or some goddess great Jove was offended above with,

And chilled to a sculpture of stone ;


But you'd think her no colourless, classical statue,
When she turned from her pensive repose,

With her glowing grey eyes glancing timidly at you,
And the blush of a beautiful rose.

Have you heard Nancy sigh ? then you've caught the
sad echo

From the wind-harp enchantingly borne.
Have you heard the girl laugh ? then you've heard the
first cuckoo

Chant summer's delightful return.
And the songs that poor ignorant country-folk fancy,

The lark's liquid raptures on high,
Are just old Irish airs from the sweet lips of Nancy,

Flowing up and refreshing the sky.

And though her foot dances so soft from the heather

To the dew-twinkling tussocks of grass,
It but warns the bright drops to slip closer together

To image the exquisite lass ;
We've no men left among us, so lost to emotion,

Or scornful, or cold to her sex,
Who'd resist her, if Nancy once took up the notion

To set that soft foot on their necks.

Yet, for all that the bee flies for honey-dew fragrant
To the half- opened flower of her lips ;


And the butterfly pauses, the purple-eyed vagrant,
To play with her pink finger-tips ; ,

From all human lovers she locks up the treasure
A thousand are starving to taste,

And the fairies alone know the magical measure
Of the ravishing round of her waist.


HTHEN first I saw sweet Peggy,

'Twas on a market day,
A low-backed car she drove, and sat

Upon a truss of hay.
And when the hay was blooming grass

And decked with flowers of spring,
No flower was there that could compare

With the blooming girl I sing.
As she sat in her low-backed car,
The man at the turnpike bar
Never asked for the toll,
But just rubbed his ould poll,
And looked after the low-backed car.

In battle's wild commotion,
The proud and mighty Mars

With hostile scythes demands his tithes
Of death in warlike cars


While Peggy, peaceful goddess,

Has darts in her right eye,
That knock men down in the market-town,

As right and left they fly
While she sits in her low-backed car,
Than battle more dangerous far,
For the doctor's art
Cannot cure the heart
That is hit from that low-backed car.

Sweet Peggy round her car, sir,

Has strings of ducks and geese,
But the scores of hearts she slaughters

By far outnumber these ;
While she among her poultry sits

Just like a turtle-dove,
Well worth the cage, I do engage,

Of the blooming god of love !
While she sits in the low-backed car,
Her lovers come near and far,
And envy the chicken
That Peggy is pickin'
As she sits in the low-backed car.

Oh, I'd rather own that car, sir,
With Peggy by my side,


Than a coach-and-four and gold galore, 1

And a lady for my bride.
For the lady would sit fornenst 2 me

On a cushion made with taste,
And Peggy would sit beside me

With my arm around her waist
While we drove in the low-backed car
To be married by Father Maher.
Oh, my heart would beat high
At her glance and her sigh,
Though it beat in a low-backed car !

1 ' Galore,' in plenty. - ' Fornenst,' in front of.


RINK to her who long

Hath wak'd 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 wak'd 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 answered, ' He who could.'


With golden key Wealth thought
To pass but 'twould not do :

While Wit a diamond brought
Which cut his bright way through.
So here's, &c.

The love that seeks a home

Where wealth or 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,

Tho' woman keeps it here !
Then drink to her, &c.



fOUNG Rory O'More courted Kathleen Bawn :
He was bold as the hawk, she soft as the dawn :

He wished in his heart pretty Kathleen to


And he thought the best way to do that was to tease.
' Now, Rory, be aisy,' sweet Kathleen would cry,
Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye ;
'With your tricks I don't know, in troth, what I'm

Faith, you've teased till I've put on my cloak inside


' Och, jewel,' says Rory, 'that same is the way
You've thrated my heart this many a day :
And 'tis plased that I am and why not, to be sure ?
For it's all for good luck,' says bold Rory O'More.

' Indeed, then,' says Kathleen, ' don't think of the like,
For I half gave a promise to soothering Mike,


For the ground that I walk on, he loves, I'll be

' Faith/ says Rory, ' I'd rather love you than the


' NOWJ Rory, I'll cry if you don't let me go ;
Sure, I dhrames every night that I'm hating you so.'
' Och,' says Rory, ' that same I'm delighted to hear ;
For dhrames always go by contraries, my dear.
So, jewel, keep dhramin' that same till you die,
And bright morning will give dirty night the black


And 'tis pleased that I am and why not, to be sure ?
Since 'tis all for good luck,' says bold Rory O'More.

' Arrah, Kathleen, my darlint, you've tazed me

Sure, I've thrashed, for your sake, Dinny Grimes and

Jim Duff,
And I've made myself drinking your health quite a


So I think after that I may talk to the priest.'
Then Rory, the rogue, stole his arm round her neck,
So soft and so white without freckle or speck ;
And he looked in her eyes that were beaming with

And he kissed her sweet lips. Don't you think he

was right ?


' Now, Rory, leave off, sir, you'll hug me no more,
That's eight times to-day you have kissed me before.'
c Then here goes another,' says he, ' to make sure ;
For there's luck in odd numbers,' says Rory O'More.



. young May moon is beaming, love,
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love -

How sweet to rove

Through Morna's grove,
While the drowsy world is dreaming, love !
Then, awake ! the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear,

And the best of all ways

To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear !

Now all the world is sleeping, love,

But the Sage, his star-watch keeping, love

And I, whose star,

More glorious far,
Is the eye from that casement peeping, love !


Then, awake ! till rise of sun, my dear,
The Sage's glass we'll shun, my dear,

Or in watching the flight

Of bodies of light,

He might happen to take thee for one, my dear.



k H, lovely Mary Donnelly, it's you I love the

best ;
If fifty girls were round you, I'd hardly see

the rest :
Be what it may the time o' day, the place be where it


Sweet looks of Mary Donnelly, they bloom before me

Her eyes like mountain water that's flowing on a rock,
How clear they are, how dark they are ! and they give

me many a shock :
Red rowans warm in sunshine and wetted with a

Could ne'er express the charming lip that has me in

its power.

E 2


Her nose is straight and handsome, her eyebrows

lifted up ;
Her chin is very neat and pert, and smooth like a

china cup ;

Her hair's the brag of Ireland, so weighty and so fine;
It's rolling down upon her neck, and gathered in a


The dance o' last Whit- Monday night exceeded all

before :
No pretty girl for miles about was missing from the

floor ;
But Mary kept the belt of love, and oh, but she was

gay !
She danced a jig, she sung a song, that took my heart


When she stood up for dancing, her steps were so


The music nearly killed itself to listen to her feet ;
The fiddler moaned his blindness, he heard her so

much praised ;
But blessed himself he wasn't deaf when once her

voice she raised.

And evermore I'm whistling or lilting what you sung,
Your smile is always in my heart, your name beside
my tongue :


But you've as many sweethearts as you'd count on

both your hands,
And for myself there's not a thumb or little finger


Oh, you're the flower o' womankind in country or in

town !

The higher I exalt you, the lower I'm cast down.
If some great lord should come this way, and see

your beauty bright,
And you to be his lady I'd own it was but right.

Oh, might we live together in a lofty palace hall,
Where joyful music rises, and where scarlet curtains

Oh, might we live together in a cottage mean and

With sods of grass the only roof, and mud the only

wall !

Oh, lovely Mary Donnelly, your beauty's my distress !
It's far too beauteous to be mine, but I'll never wish

it less ;
The proudest place would fit your face, and I am poor

and low ;
But blessings be about you, dear, wherever you may go.



bard, O Time, discover,
. , . With wings first made thee move ?

Ah ! sure it was some lover
Who ne'er had left his love !
For who that once did prove
The pangs which absence brings,
Though but one day
He were away,

Could picture thee with wings ?
What bard, &c.



k CHONE ! Patrick Blake,
You're off up to Dublin,
And, sure, for your sake,

I'm the terrible trouble in ;
For I thought that I knew

What my < Yes ' and my ' No ' meant,'
Till I tried it on you

That misfortunate moment.
But somehow I find,

Since I sent Pat away,
Must be, in my mind,
I was wishful he'd stay.

While ago the young rogue
Came and softly stooped over,

And gave me a pogue

As I stretched in the clover ;


How I boxed his two ears

And axed him ' How dare he ? '

Now I'd let him for years

'Tis the way women vary.

For somehow, &c.

Oh, why wouldn't he wait

To put his comether
Upon me complate,

When we both were together ?
But no ! Patrick, no ;

You must have me consentin'
Too early ; and so

Kitty's late for repentin'.
For somehow, &c.



H ! Kitty O'Hea,

I'm the terrible trouble in,
For you're at Rossbeigh
And myself is in Dublin
Through mistaking, bedad !

Your blushes, and that trick
Of sighing you had,

Showed a softness for Patrick.
And yet from my mind

A voice seems to speak :
' Go back, and you'll find
That she's fond of you, Blake ! '

Oh ! Dublin is grand,

As all must acknowledge,
Wid the bank on one hand,

On the other the college.
I'd be proud to be mayor

Of so splendid a city ;
But I'd far sooner share

A cabin wid Kitty.


And I may so some day,
For the voice in my mind

Keeps seeming to say :
'After all, she'll be kind.'

Oh ! Dublin is fine,

Wid her ships on the river,
And her iligant line

Of bridges for ever.
But, Kitty, my dear,

I'd exchange them this minute
For our small little pier,

And my boat, and you in it.
And I may, &c.

Here you've beautiful squares

For all to be gay in,
Promenading in pairs

Wid the band music playing ;
But if I'd my choice,

Where our green hollies glisten,
To Kitty's sweet voice

I'd much rather listen.
And I may, &c.

Here's a wonderful park,

Where the wild beasts are feedin',


For the world like Noah's Ark

Or the Garden of Eden !
But, faix ! of the two,

I'd rather be sittin'
Manoeuv'ring, aroo,

Wid your comical kitten.
And I may, &c.

Yes, Dublin's a queen,

Wid her gardens and waters,
And her buildings between,

For her sons and her daughters ;
In learning so great,

So lovely and witty :

But she isn't complete

At all without Kitty.

And that voice in my mind
1 Go back to the South ! '
So I will, then, and find

What you mean from her mouth.


\ TRIKE the gay harp ! see, the moon is on high,
And, as true to her beam as the tides of the

Young hearts, when they feel the soft light of her eye,

Obey the mute call and heave into motion.
Then, sound notes the gayest, the lightest,
That ever took wing, when heav'n look'd brightest !

Again ! Again !
Oh ! could such heart-stirring music be heard

In that city of statues described by romancers,

So wakening its spell, even stone would be stirr'd,

And statues themselves all start into dancers !

Why, then, delay with such sounds in our ears,
And the flower of Beauty's own garden before us ;

While stars overhead leave the song of their spheres,
And, list'ning to ours, hang wondering o'er us ?


Again, that strain ! to hear it thus sounding
Might set even Death's cold pulse bounding !

Again ! Again !
Oh ! what a bliss when the youthful and gay,

Each with eye like sunbeam and foot like a feather,
As dance the young hours to the music of May,

Thus mingle sweet song and sunshine together !



LY not yet, 'tis just the hour

. When pleasure, like the midnight flower

That scorns the eye of vulgar light,
Begins to bloom for sons of night,

And maids who love the moon.
Twas but to bless these hours of shade
That beauty and the moon were made ;
Tis then their soft attractions glowing
Set the tides and goblets flowing.

Oh ! stay oh ! stay :
Joy so seldom weaves a chain
Like this to-night, that, oh ! 'tis pain

To break its links so soon.

Fly not yet, the fount that play'd
In times of old to Ammon's shade,
Though icy cold by day it ran,
Yet still, like souls of mirth, began
To burn when night was near.


And thus should woman's hearts and looks
At noon be cold as winter brooks,
Nor kindle till the night, returning,
Brings their genial hour for burning.

Oh ! stay oh ! stay :
When did morning ever break,
And find such beaming eyes awake

As those that sparkle here !



L H, I'm not myself at all,

Molly dear, Molly dear,
I'm not myself at all.
Nothin' carin', nothin' knowin',
Tis afther you I'm goin',
Faith, your shadow 'tis I'm growin',

Molly dear,

And I'm not myself at all !
Th' other day I went confessing
And I ask'd the father's blessin' ;
' But,' says I, ' don't give me one intirely,
For I fretted so last year
But the half o' me is here,
So give the other half to Molly Brierly.'
Oh ! I'm not myself at all !


Oh, I'm not myself at all,

Molly dear, Molly dear,
My appetite's so small

I once could pick a goose ;

But my buttons is no use,

Faith, my tightest coat is loose,
Molly dear,

And I'm not myself at all !

If thus it is I waste,

You'd betther, dear, make haste,
Before your lover's gone away intirely ;

If you don't soon change your mind,

Not a bit of me you'll find
And what 'ud you think' o' that, Molly Brierly?-

Oh, I'm not myself at all !

Oh, rny shadow on the wall,

Molly dear, Molly dear,
Isn't like myself at all.

For I've got so very thin,

Myself says 'tisn't him,

But that purty girl so slim,
Molly dear,

And I'm not myself at all !

If thus I smaller grew,

All fretting, dear, for you,
'Tis you should make me up the deficiency


So just let Father Taaff
Make you my betther half,
And you will not the worse for the addition be-
Oh, I'm not myself at all !

I'll be not myself at all,

Molly dear, Molly dear

Till you my own I call !

Since a change o'er me there came
Sure you might change your name
And 'twould just come to the same,

Molly dear,

'Twould just come to the same :
For if you and I were one,
All confusion would be gone,

And 'twould simplify the matther intirely ;
And 'twould save us so much bother,
When we'd both be one another

So listen now to rayson, Molly Brierly ;
Oh, I'm not myself at all !



OLLEEN oge, my Molleen oge,
Go put on your natest brogue,
nd slip into your smartest gown,
You rosy little rogue ;
For a message kind I bear
To yourself from ould Adair,
That Pat the piper's come around,
And there'll be dancfn' there.
Oh, my Molleen,
Oh, my colleen,
We'll dance to Pat,
And after that
Collogue upon one chair.

Molleen, dear, I'd not presume,
To encroach into your room,
But I'd forgot a fairin'

I'd brought you from Macroom ;


So open, and I swear
Not one peep upon you there !
Tis a silver net to gather

At the glass your golden hair.
Oh, my Molleen, &c.

Molleen pet my MOLLEEN pet,
Faix, I'm fairly in a fret
At the time you're tittivatin'.

MOLLEEN, aren't you ready yet ?
Now net, and gown, and brogue,
Are you sure you're quite the vogue ?
But, bedad, you look so lovely,
I'll forgive you, Molleen oge.
Oh, my Molleen,
Oh, my colleen,
We'll dance to Pat,
And after that
Upon one chair collogue.


O ! ' said the angry, weeping maid,
The charm is broken ! once betrayed,

Oh ! never can my heart rely
On word, or look, or oath, or sigh.
Take back the gifts so sweetly given,
With promised faith and vows to heaven
That little ring which, night and morn,
With wedded truth my hand hath worn :
That seal, which oft in moments blest,
Thou hast upon my life impressed,
And sworn its dewy spring should be
A fountain sealed for only thee !
Take, take them back, the gift and vow,
All sullied, lost, and hateful now ! '

I took the ring the seal I took ;

2 4 5 6 7 8 9

Online LibraryAlfred Perceval GravesSongs of Irish wit and humour → online text (page 2 of 9)