Maid of Ballyhaunis


My Mary dear, for thee I die
O place thy hand in mine love
My fathers here were chieftains high
Then to my plaints incline, love
O plaited-hair, that now we were
In wedlock’s hand united
For maiden mine, in grief I’ll pine
Until our vows are plighted

Thou, Rowan-bloom, since thus I rove
All worn and faint to greet thee
Come to these arms, my constant love
With love as true to meet me
Alas, my head; it’s wits are fled
I’ve failed in filial duty
My sire did say ‘Shun, shun, for aye
That Ballyhaunis beauty’

But thy Cailín Bán, I marked one day
Where the blooms of the bean-field cluster
Thy bosom white like ocean’s spray
Thy cheek like rowan-fruit’s lustre
Thy tones that shame the wild birds fame
Which sing in the summer weather
And O I sigh, that thou, love, and I
Steal not from this world together

If with thy lover thou depart
To the land of ships, my fair love
No weary pain of head or heart
Shall haunt our slumbers there, love
O haste away, ere cold death’s prey
My soul from thee withdrawn is
And my hope’s reward, the churchyard sward
In the town of Ballyhaunis


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