Page images
PDF
EPUB

There is a rose in Ireland, I thought it would be mine: But now that she is lost to me, I must for ever pine, Till death shall come to comfort me, for to the grave I 'll go, And all for the sake of my Irish Molly O!”

She's modest, etc.

“And now that I am dying, this one request I crave, To place a marble tombstone above my humble grave! And on the stone these simple words I'd have engraven so * MacDonald lost his life for love of Irish Molly O!'

She's modest, etc.

JENNY FROM BALLINASLOE.

You lads that are funny, and call maids your honey,

Give ear for a moment; I ’ll not keep you long.
I'm wounded by Cupid; he has made me stupid;

To tell you the truth now, my brain 's nearly wrong.
A neat little posy, who does live quite cosy,

Has kept me unable to go to and fro;
Each day I'm declining, in love I 'm repining,

For nice little Jenny from Ballinasloe.

It was in September, I'll ever remember,

I went out to walk by a clear river side
For sweet recreation, but, to my vexation,

This wonder of Nature I quickly espied;
I stood for to view her an hour, I'm sure :

The earth could not show such a damsel, I know,
As that little girl, the pride of the world,

Called nice little Jenny from Ballinasloe.

I said to her: “Darling! this is a nice morning;

The birds sing enchantingly, which charms the groves ;
Their notes do delight me, and you do invite me,

Along this clear water some time for to rove.
Your beauty has won me, and surely undone me;

If you won't agree for to cure my sad woe,
So great is my sorrow, I'll ne'er see to-morrow,

My sweet little Jenny from Ballinasloe.”

“Sir, I did not invite you, nor yet dare not slight you;

You ’re at your own option to act as you please:
I am not ambitious, nor e'er was officious;

I am never inclined to disdain or to tease.

I love conversation, likewise recreation;

I'm free with a friend, and I'm cold with a foe; But virtue's my glory, and will be till I'm hoary,"

Said nice little Jenny from Ballinasloe.

“ Most lovely of creatures ! your beautiful features

Have sorely attracted and captured my heart;
If you won't relieve me, in truth you may b’lieve me,

Bewildered in sorrow till death I must smart;
I'm at your election, so grant me protection,

And feel for a creature that's tortured in woe. One smile it will heal me, one frown it will kill me;

Sweet, nice little Jenny from Ballinasloe!"

“Sir, yonder 's my lover; if he should discover

Or ever take notice you spoke unto me,
He'd close your existence in spite of resistance;

Be pleased to withdraw, then, lest he might you see. You see, he's approaching; then don't be encroaching

He has his large dog and his gun there also. Although you 're a stranger, I wish you from danger,"

Said nice little Jenny from Ballinasloe.

I bowed then genteelly, and thanked her quite freely;

I bid her adieu, and took to the road;
So great was my trouble my pace I did double;

My heart was oppressed and sank down with the load. For ever I'll mourn for beauteous Jane Curran,

And ramble about in affection and woe,
And think on the hour I saw that sweet flower,

My dear little Jenny from Ballinasloe!

JOHNNY, I HARDLY KNEW. YE.

While going the road to sweet Athy,

Hurroo! hurroo !
While going the road to sweet Athy,

Hurroo! hurroo !
While going the road to sweet Athy,
A stick in my hand and a drop in my eye,
A doleful damsel I heard cry:
“ Och Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums and guns, and guns and drums

The enemy nearly slew ye;

My darling dear, you look so queer,
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

“Where are your eyes that looked so mild?

Hurroo! hurroo !
Where are your eyes that looked so mild?

Hurroo! hurroo !
Where are your eyes that looked so mild,
When my poor heart you first beguiled?
Why did you run from me and the child?
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums, etc.

“Where are the legs with which you run?

Hurroo! hurroo !
Where are the legs with which you run?

Hurroo! hurroo!
Where are the legs with which you run
When you went to carry a gun?
Indeed, your dancing days are done!
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums, etc.

“It grieved my heart to see you sail,

Hurroo! hurroo !
It grieved my heart to see you sail,

Hurroo! hurroo !
It grieved my heart to see you sail,
Though from my heart you took leg-bail;
Like a cod you ’re doubled up head and tail.
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums, etc.

“ You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,

Hurroo! hurroo !
You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,

Hurroo! hurroo !
You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,
You ’re an eyeless, noseless, chickenless egg;
You'll have to be put wid a bowl to beg:
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums, etc.

“I'm happy for to see you home,

Hurroo! hurroo !
I'm happy for to see you home,

Hurroo! hurroo !

I'm happy for to see you home,
All from the island of Sulloon,
So low in flesh, so high in bone;
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums, etc.

“ But sad as it is to see you so,

Hurroo! hurroo !
But sad as it is to see you so,

Hurroo! hurroo !
But sad as it is to see you so,
And to think of you now as an object of woe,
Your Peggy 'll still keep ye on as her beau;
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

With drums and guns, and guns and drums

The enemy nearly slew ye;
My darling dear, you look so queer,
Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

THE LAMENTATION OF HUGH REYNOLDS.1

My name is Hugh Reynolds, I come of honest parents;

Near Cavan I was born, as plainly you may see;
By loving of a maid, one Catherine MacCabe,
My life has been betrayed; she's a dear maid to me.2

1 I copied this ballad from a broad-sheet in the collection of Mr. Davis; but could learn nothing of its date, or the circumstances connected with it. It is clearly modern, however, and founded on the story of an abduction, which terminated differently from the majority of these adventures. The popular sympathy in such cases is generally in favor of the gallant, the impression being that an abduction is never attempted without at least a tacit consent on the part of the girl. Whenever she appears as a willing witness for the prosecution it is said she has been tampered with by her friends, and public indignation falls upon the wrong object. The

Lamentation' was probably written for or by the ballad singers ; but it is the best of its bad class.

The student would do well to compare it with the other street ballads in the collection; and with the simple old traditional ballads, such as 'Shule Aroon' and 'Peggy Bawn,' that he may discover if possible, where the charm lies that recommends strains so rude and naked to the most cultivated minds. These ballads have done what the songs of our greatest lyrical poets have not done--delighted both the educated and the ignorant. Whoever hopes for an equally large and contrasted audience must catch their simplicity, directness, and force, or whatever else constitutes their peculiar attraction.—Note by Sir Charles Gavan Dufy, ' Ballad Poetry of Ireland.'

2“ A dear maid to me." His love for her cost him dear.

The country were bewailing my doleful situation,

But still I'd expectation this maid would set me free; But, oh! she was ungrateful, her parents proved deceitful,

And though I loved her faithful, she's a dear maid to me.

Young men and tender maidens, throughout this Irish nation,

Who hear my lamentation, I hope you 'll pray for me; The truth I will unfold, that my precious blood she sold,

In the grave I must lie cold; she's a dear maid to me.

For now my glass is run, and the hour it is come,

And I must die for love and the height of loyalty : I thought it was no harm to embrace her in my arms,

Or take her from her parents; but she's a dear maid to me.

Adieu, my loving father, and you, my tender mother,

Farewell, my dearest brother, who has suffered sore for me; With irons I'm surrounded, in grief I lie confounded,

By perjury unbounded ! she's a dear maid to me.

Now, I can say no more; to the Law-board 1 I must go,

There to take the last farewell of my friends and counterie; May the angels, shining bright, receive my soul this night,

And convey me into heaven to the blessed Trinity.

LANIGAN'S BALL.2

In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan

Battered away till he hadn't a pound,
His father he died and made him a man again,

Left him a house and ten acres of ground!
He gave a grand party to friends and relations

Who wouldn't forget him if he went to the wall;
And if you 'll just listen, I'll make your eyes glisten

With the rows and the ructions of Lanigan's ball.

Myself, to be sure, got free invitations

For all the nice boys and girls I'd ask,
And in less than a minute the friends and relations

Were dancing as merry as bees round a cask. 1 Law-board, gallows.

2 Lunigan's Ball.'—A version made up from several, and as near absolute correctness as seems possible.

« PreviousContinue »