Alfred Perceval Graves.

Songs of Irish wit and humour online

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While, oh ! her every tear and look
Were such as angels look and shed,
When man is by the world misled !


Gently I whispered, ' Fanny, dear !

Not half thy lover's gifts are here :

Say, where are all the seals he gave

To every ringlet's jetty wave,

And where is every one he printed

Upon that lip so ruby-tinted

Seals, of the purest gem of bliss,

Oh ! richer, softer, far than this !

And then the ring my love ! recall

How many rings, delicious all,

His arms around that neck have twisted

Twining warmer far than this did !

Where are they all, so sweet, so many ?

Oh ! dearest, give back all, if any ! '

While thus I murmured, trembling too,
Lest all the nymph had vowed was true,
I saw a smile relenting rise
'Mid the moist azure of her eyes,
Like daylight o'er a sea of blue,
While yet the air is dim with dew.
She let her cheek repose on mine,
She let my arms around her twine
Oh ! who can tell the bliss one feels
In thus exchanging rings and seals !



JWAS on a windy night

At two o'clock in the morning,
An Irish lad so tight,

All wind and weather scorning,
At Judy Callaghan's door,
Sitting upon the palings,
His love-tale he did pour,

And this was part of his wailings :

Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan,

Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan !

Oh ! list to what I say,

Charms you've got like Venus ;

Own your love you may,

There's but the wall between us,


You lie fast asleep,

Snug in bed and snoring ;
Round the house I creep,
Your hard heart imploring.

Only say
You'll have Mr. Brallaghan ;

Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan

I've got a pig and a sow,

I've got a sty to sleep 'em ;
'A calf and a brindled cow,

And a cabin, too, to keep 'em ;
Sunday hat and coat,

An old grey mare to ride on ;
Saddle and bridle, to boot,

Which you may ride astride on.
Only say

You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan ;
Don't say nay,

Charming Judy Callaghan.

I've got an acre of ground ;

I've got it set with praties ;
I've got of 'baccy a pound ;

I've got some tea for the ladies ;


I've got the ring to wed,

Some whisky to make us gaily ;
I've got a feather bed,

And a handsome new shillelagh

Only say
You'll have Mr. Brallaghan ;

Don't say nay, .
Charming Judy Callaghan.

You've got a charming eye,

You've got some spelling and reading ;
You've got, and so have I,

A taste for genteel breeding ;
You're rich, and fair, and young,

As everybody's knowing ;
You've got a decent tongue

Whene'er 'tis set agoing.
Only say

You'll have Mr. Brallaghan ;
Don't say nay,

Charming Judy Callaghan.

For a wife till death

I am willing to take ye !
But, och ! I waste my breath

The divil himself can't wake ye.


'Tis just beginning to rain,
So I'll get under cover ;
To-morrow I'll come again,
And be your constant lover.

Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan ;

Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.


' to the fair,
Me and Moll Malony,

Seated, I declare,

On a single pony-
How am I to know that

Molly's safe behind,
Wid our heads in, oh ! that

Awk'ard way inclined ?
By her gentle breathin'

Whispered past my ear,
And her white arms wreathin'

Warm around me here.
Trottin' to the fair,

Me and Moll Maloney,
Seated, I declare,

On a single pony.


Yerrig ! 1 Masther Jack,

Lift your forelegs higher,
Or a rousin' crack

Surely you'll require.
' Ah ! ' says Moll, ' I'm frightened

That the pony '11 start,'
And her hands she tightened

On my happy heart ;
Till widout reflecting

'Twasn't quite the vogue,
Somehow, I'm suspectin'

That I snatched a pogue?
Trottin' to the fair, &c.

' Yerrig ! ' Gee-up ! 2 ' Pogue,' a kiss.


If DO confess, in many a sigh,

If My lips have breathed you many a lie

And who, with such delights in view,
Would lose them, for a lie or two ?

Nay look not thus, with brow reproving :
Lies are, my dear, the soul of loving !
If half we tell the girls were true,
If half we swear to think and do
Were aught but lying's bright illusion,
The world would be in strange confusion !
If ladies' eyes were, every one,
As lovers swear, a radiant sun,
Astronomy should leave the skies,
To learn her lore in ladies' eyes !
Oh no ! believe me, lovely girl,
When Nature turns your teeth to pearl,


Your neck to snow, your eyes to fire,
Your yellow locks to golden wire,
Then, only then, can Heaven decree
That you should live for only me,
Or I for you, as night and morn
We've swearing kissed, and kissing sworn !
And now my gentle hints to clear,
For once I'll tell you truth, my dear !
Whenever you may chance to meet
A loving youth whose love is sweet,
Long as you're false and he believes you,
Long as you trust and he deceives you,
So long the blissful bond endures,
And while he lies, his heart is yours ;
But, oh ! you've wholly lost the youth
The instant that he tells you truth !



, H, then, ma'am dear, did you never hear of

purty Molly Brallaghan ?
Troth, dear, I've lost her, and I'll never be a

man again
Not a spot on my hide will another summer tan


Since Molly she has left me all alone for to die.
The place where my heart was you might aisy rowl a

turnip in,
It's the size of all Dublin and from Dublin to the

Devil's Glen ;
If she chose to take another, sure, she might have sent

mine back agin,
And not to leave me here all alone for to die !

Ma'am dear, I remember, when the milking- time was

past and gone,
We went into the meadows, where she swore I was the

only man


That ever she could love yet, oh, the base and cruel


After all that to leave me here alone for to die !
Ma'am dear, I remember, as we came home, the rain

I rowled her in my frieze coat, though the devil a

waistcoat I had on,
And my shirt was rather fine- drawn yet, oh, the base

and cruel one,
After all that to leave me here all alone for to die !

I went and towld my tale to Father McDonnell,

And then I wint and axed advice of Counsellor

O'Connell, ma'am,
He told me promise-breaches had been ever since the

world began.
Now I have but the one pair, ma'am, and they are

Arrah, what could he mean, ma'am ? or what would

you advise me to ?
Must my corduroys to Molly go? In troth, I'm

bothered what to do :
I can't afford to lose both my heart and my breeches

Yet what need I care, when I've only to die ?


Oh, the left side of my carcass is as wake as water-
gruel, ma'am,
I wish I had a carabine, I'd go and fight a duel,

ma'am :
Sure, it's better far to kill myself than to stay here

to die :

I'm hot and detarmined as a live salamander, ma'am :
Won't you come to my wake, when I go my long

meander, ma'am ;
Oh, I'll feel myself as valiant as the famous Alexander,


When I hear yez crying round me, { Arrah, why did
he die?'


1 The * long meander ' is very descriptive of an Irish funeral
procession in the country.


LOVELY lass, with modest mien,

Stole out one morning early ;
The dew-drops glancing o'er the green

Made all her pathway pearly.
Young Lawrence, struck with Cupid's dart-
Cupid's dart distressing
As through the fields he saw her start,

Sighed, ( She 's gone confessing !
Oh, vo ! 'twould ease my heart
To earn the father's blessing.'

The Father, with a twinkling eye,

He watched my boyo cunning,
Unnoticed by his colleen's eye

Behind the bushes running.
1 How well,' he laughed, ' young Lawrence there,

After all my pressing,


With his sweetheart, I declare,

Comes at last confessing.
Oho ! I'll just take care

To give the lad a lesson.'

The pleasant priest unbarred the door,

As solemn as a shadow :
* How slow,' cried he, ' you've come before,

How hot-foot now, my laddo.
The serious steal with looks sedate,

Seeking to be shriven ;
But you, you're in no fitting state

Now to be forgiven :
So go within and wait,

With all your thoughts on heaven.'

The fair one following in a while

Made out her faults with meekness ;
The priest then asked her with a smile

Had she no other weakness,
And led, with that, young Lawrence in ;

Her cheeks were now confessing.
( Well, since 'tis after all a sin

Easy of redressing,
Here, dear, I'd best begin

To give you both my blessing.'

G 2


\ TILL the question I must parry,

Still a wayward truant prove :

Where I love, I must not marry ;

Where I marry, cannot love.

\Vere she fairest of creation,
With the least presuming mind :

Learned without affectation ;
Not deceitful, yet refined ;

Wise enough, but never rigid ;

Gay, but not too lightly free ;
Chaste as snow, and yet not frigid ;

Warm, yet satisfied with me :

Were she all this ten times over,
All that Heaven to earth allows,

I should be too much her lover
Ever to become her spouse,



"TRRA, wirra ! ologone !

Can't ye lave a lad alone,
Till he's proved, there's no tradition left of

any other girl :
Not even Trojan Helen,
In beauty all excelling
Who's been up to half the divlement of Fan Fitzgerl.

With her brows of silky black

Arched above for the attack,

Her eyes they dart such azure death on poor admirin'

Masther Cupid, point your arrows,

From this out, agin the sparrows,
For you're bested at Love's archery by young Miss Fan

See what showers of goolden thread
Lift and fall upon her head,

The likes of such a trammel-net at say was niver
spread ;


For, whin accurately reckoned,
; Twas computed that each second
Of her curls has cot a Kerryman and kilt him dead.

Now mention, if ye will,

Brandon Mount and Hungry Hill,
Or Ma'g'llicuddy's Reeks, renowned for cripplin' all
they t can;

Still the country-side confisses

None of all its precipices
Cause a quarther of the carnage of the nose of Fan.

But your shatthered hearts suppose

Safely steered apast her nose,

She's a current and a reef beyand to wreck them
roving ships.

My meaning it is simple,

For that current is her dimple,
And the cruel reef 'twill coax ye to 's her coral lips.

I might inform ye further

Of her bosom's snowy murther,

And an ankle ambuscadin' through her gown's de-
lightful whirl ;

But what need, when all the village
Has forsook its peaceful tillage,

And flown to war and pillage all for Fan Fitzgerl !


EHOLD, my love, the curious gem
Within this simple ring of gold :

Tis hallowed by the touch of them
Who lived in classic hours of old.

Some fair Athenian girl, perhaps,
Upon her hand this gem displayed,

Nor thought that time's eternal lapse
Should see it grace a lovlier maid.

Look, darling, what a sweet design !

The more we gaze, it charms the more :
Come closer bring that cheek to mine,

And trace with me its beauties o'er.


Thou seest, it is a simple youth

By some enamoured nymph embraced-

Look, Nea, love ! and say in sooth,
Is not her hand most dearly placed ?

Upon his curled head behind
It seems in careless play to lie ;

Yet presses gently, half inclined
To bring his lip of nectar nigh !

O happy maid ! too happy boy !

The one so fond and faintly loth,
The other yielding slow to joy

Oh, rare indeed, but blissful both !

Imagine, love, that I am he,

And just as warm as he is chilling;
Imagine, too, that thou art she,

But quite as cold as she is willing.

So may we try the graceful way

In which their gentle arms are twined :

And thus, like her, my hand I lay
Upon thy wreathed hair behind.


And thus I feel thee breathing sweet,
As slow to mine thy head I move ;

And thus our lips together meet,
And thus I kiss thee O my love !



"HEN Pat came o'er the hill,

His colleen fair to see,

His whistle low, but shrill,

The signal was to be.

(Pat whistles.}

' Mary,' the mother said,

' Some one is whistlin', sure ; '
Says Mary : ' Tis only the wind
Is whistlin' thro' the door.'

(Pat whistles a bit of a popular air.}

I've liv'd a long time, Mary,
In this wide world, my dear

But a door to whistle like that
I never yet did hear.'


' But, mother, you know the fiddle

Hangs close beside the chink,
And the wind upon the strings
Is playing the tune, I think. 7

( The pig grunts. )

4 Mary, I hear the pig,

Unaisy in his mind. 7
'But, mother, you know they say
That pigs can see the wind.'

1 That's thrue enough in the day ;
But I think you may remark,
That pigs, no more nor we,
Can see anything in the dark.'

(The dog barks.}

' The dog is barkin' now,

The fiddle can't play that tune.'

' But, mother, the dogs will bark
Whenever they see the moon.'

' But how could he see the moon,

When you know the dog is blind ?
Blind dogs won't bark at the moon,
Nor fiddles be play'd by the wind.


: I'm not such a fool as you think,

I know very well 'tis Pat :
Shut your mouth, you whistlin' thief,
And go along home out o' that !

' And you go off to bed,

Don't play upon me your jeers ;
For tho' I have lost my eyes,
I haven't lost my ears ! '



, H, Jenny, I'm not jesting,
Believe what I'm protesting,
And yield what I'm requesting
These seven years through.'
' Ah, Lawrence, I may grieve you ;
Yet, if I can't relieve you,
Sure, why should I deceive you

With words untrue ?
But, since you must be courtin',
There's Rosy and her fortune ;
Tis rumoured your consortin'

With her of late.
Or there's your cousin Kitty,
So charming and so witty,
She'd wed you out of pity,
Kind Kate.'


c Fie ! Jenny, since I knew you,
Of all the lads that woo you,
None's been so faithful to you,

If truth were told.
Even when yourself was dartin'
Fond looks at fickle Martin,
Till off the thief went startin'

For Sheela's gold/
' And if you've known me longest,
Why should your love be strongest,
And his that's now the youngest,

For that be worst ? '
1 Fire, Jenny, quickest kindled
Is always soonest dwindled :
And thread the swiftest spindled
Snaps first.'

* If that's your wisdom, Larry,
The longer I can tarry,
The luckier I shall marry

At long, long last.'

* I've known of girls amusing
Their minds, the men refusing,
Till none were left for choosing

At long, long last.'
1 Well, since it seems that marriage
Is still the safest carriage,



And all the world disparage

The spinster lone ;
Since you might still forsake me,
I think I'll let you take me,
Yes ! Larry, you may make me

Your own ! '



^, RRAH, answer me now, sweet Kitty Mulreddin,
Why won't you be fixin' the day of our


Now, Patrick O'Brien, what a hurry you're in :
Can't you wait till the summer comes round to begin


Oh, no, Kitty Machree, in all sinse and all raison,
The winter's the properest marryin' saison ;
For to comfort oneself from the frost and the rain,
There's nothin' like weddin' in winter 'tis plain.



If it's only protection you want from the cowld,
There's a parish that's called the Equator, I'm towld,
That for single young men is kept hot through the

year :
Where's the use of your marryin' ? off wid you there !


But there's also a spot not so pleasantly warmed,
Set aside for ould maids, if I'm rightly informed,
Where some mornin', if still she can't make up her

A misfortunate colleen, called Kathleen, you'll find.


Is it threat'nin' you are that I'll die an ould maid,
Who refused, for your sake, Mr. Laurence M'Quaide?
Faix ! I think I'll forgive him ; for this I'll be bound,
He'd wait like a lamb till the summer came round. .


Now it's thinking I am that this same Mr. Larry
Is what makes you so slow in agreein' to marry.




And your wish to be settled wid me in such haste,
Does't prove that you're jealous of him in the laste ?

Well, we'll not say that Kitty '11 die an ould maid.

And we'll bother no more about Larry M'Quaide.


But Kitty machree, sure them weddins in spring,
When the Long Fast is out, are as common a thing
As the turfs in a rick, or the stones on a wall :
Faith ! you might just as well not be married at all.
But a wed din', consider, at this side of Lent,
Would be thought such a far more surprisin' event :
So delightful to all at this dull time of year
Now say ' yes ! ' for the sake of the neighbours, my
dear !


No, Patrick, we'll wed when the woods and the grass
Wave a welcome of purtiest green, as we pass


Through the sweet cowslip meadow, and up by the


To the Chapel itself on the side of the hill :
Where the thorn, that's now sighin' a widow's lamint,
In a bridesmaid's costume '11 be smilin' contint,
And the thrush and the blackbird pipe, ' Haste to the

Of Patrick O'Brien and Kitty Mulreddin.'

Will you really promise that, Kitty, you rogue ?


Whisper, Patrick, the contract I'll seal wid a pogue !

[Kissing him.

H 2


^HEN daylight was yet sleeping under the


And stars in the heavens still lingering
Young Kitty, all blushing, rose up from her pillow,

The last time she e'er was to press it alone,
For the youth whom she treasured her heart and her

soul in,

Had promised to link the last tie before noon ;
And when once the young heart of a maiden is stolen,
The maiden herself will steal after it soon !

As she looked in the glass, which a woman ne'er

Nor ever wants time for a sly glance or two,
A butterfly fresh from the night-flowers' kisses,

Flew over the mirror, and shaded her view.


Enrag'd with the insect for hiding her graces,
She brush'd him he fell, alas ! never to rise.

' Ah ! such,' said the girl, ' is jthe pride of our faces,
For which the soul's innocence too often dies.'

While she stole thro' the garden, where heart's-ease

was growing,

She cull'd some, and kissed off its night-fallen dew ;
And a rose, further on, looked so tempting and


That, spite of her haste, she must gather it too \
But while o'er the roses too carelessly leaning,

Her zone flew in two, and the heart's-ease was lost.
' Ah ! this means,' said the girl (and she sighed at its

1 That love is scarce worth the repose it will cost ! '



^HERE are sounds of mirth in the night-air

And lamps from every casement shown ;
While voices blithe within are singing,

That seem to say c Come ' in every tone.
Ah ! once how light, in life's young season,

My heart had bounded at that sweet lay ;
Nor paus'd to ask of greybeard Reason

If I should the syren call obey.

And, see the lamps still livelier glitter,

The syren lips more fondly sound ;
No, seek, ye nymphs, some victim fitter

To sink in your rosy bondage bound.
Shall a bard, whom not the world in arms

Could bend to tyranny's rude control,
Thus quail, at sight of woman's charms,

And yield to a smile his freeborn soul ?


Thus sung the Sage, while, slyly stealing,

The nymphs their fetters round him cast,
And, their laughing eyes, the while, concealing,

Led Liberty's bard their slave at last.
For the poet's heart, still prone to loving,

Was like that rock of the Druid race,
Which the gentlest touch at once set moving,

But all earth's power couldn't shake from its base.



Machree, it's no wonder you frown,
Och hone ! Widow Machree ;
Faith ! it ruins your looks, that same dirty black gown,

Och hone ! Widow Machree.
How altered your air,
With that close cap you wear
Tis destroying your hair

W T hich should be flowing free ;
Be no longer a churl
Of its black silken curl

Och hone ! Widow Machree !

Widow Machree, now the summer is come,

Och hone ! Widow Machree :
When everything smiles, should a beauty look glum ?

Och hone ! Widow Machree,
See the birds go in pairs,
And the rabbits and hares


Why, even the bears

Now in couples agree,
And the mute little fish,
Though they can't spake, they wish

Och hone ! Widow Machree.

Widow Machree, when winter comes in,

Och hone ! Widow Machree,
To be poking the fire all alone is a sin,

Och hone ! Widow Machree.
Sure, the shovel and tongs
To each other belongs,
And the kettle sings songs

Full of family glee ;
While alone with your cup,
Like a hermit, you sup

Och hone ! Widow Machree.

And how do you know, with the comforts I've towld,

Och hone ! Widow Machree,
But you're keeping some poor fellow out in the cowld ?

Och hone ! Widow Machree :
With such sins on your head,
Sure, your peace would be fled,
Could you sleep in your bed

Without thinking to see


Some ghost or some sprite,
That would wake you each night,

Crying, ' Och hone ! Widow Machree ' ?

Then take my advice, darling Widow Machree,

Och hone ! Widow Machree ;
And with my advice, faith ! I wish you'd take me,

Och hone ! Widow Machree.
You have me to desire,
Then to sit by the fire,
And, sure, Hope is no liar

In whispering to me
That the ghosts would depart,
When you'd me near your heart

Och hone ! Widow Machree.



ye hear of the widow Malone,

Ohone !
Who lived in the town of Athlone,

Alone ?

Oh ! she melted the hearts
Of the swains in them parts,
So lovely the widow Malone,
So lovely the widow Malone.

Of lovers she had 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,

Ohone !
All were courting the widow Malone.

But so modest was Mrs. Malone,

'Twas known
No one ever could see her alone,

Ohone !

Let them ogle and sigh,
They could ne'er catch her eye,
So bashful the widow Malone,

Ohone !
So bashful the widow Malone.

Till one Mr. 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, t you're my Molly Malone,
My own ; '-

1 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. 1

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 very like Mistress Malone !



oak-leaves, when autumn is turning them


Is the hue of my own Mary's beautiful hair ;
And light as young ash-sprays, that droop in the

Are the ringlets that wave round the head that I love.

Dear Mary ! each ringlet, so silken and fine,

Is a fetter that round my poor heart you entwine ;

And if the wide ocean I roamed to the West,

It would still draw me back to the maid I love best.

Like stars that shine out from the calm summer sky
Are the glances that beam from your melting blue

eye ;

Your lips red as poppies, your cheeks bright as morn ;
And your bosom and neck white as blossoms of thorn.


The stars may shine down on the whole world at

But your eyes, Mary, dear ! should give me all their


Let the poppies and blossoms be plucked by who will,
If those dear lips and bosom be kept for me still.

Not more sportive and light is the young lambkin

Than your foot in the dance on our own village

green ;

And my fond eye still wanders wherever you move
'Midst all the maids seeking for her that I love.

The winter is past, and the Shrovetide is nigh ;

Dear Mary ! no longer be cruel or shy.

I've a home to receive you, a hand to sustain,

And a heart that will love you while life shall remain.

( Translated from the Celtic by J. F. Waller. )


" O W hush ! dearest Kathleen, give over

Upbraiding a lover so true ;

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