Cashel of Munster by William English

I’d wed you without herds, without money or rich array,
And I’d wed you on a dewy morning at day-dawn gray;
My bitter woe it is, love, that we are not far away
In Cashel town, though the bare deal board were our marriage bed this day!

O fair maid, remember the green hillside,
Remember how I hunted about the valleys wide:
Time now has worn me, my locks are turned to gray,
The year is scarce, and I am poor, but send me not, love, away!

O, deem not my blood is of base strain, my girl!
O, deem not my birth was as the birth of a churl!
Marry me, and prove me, and say soon you will,
That noble blood is written on my right side still!

My purse holds no red gold, no coin of the silver white,
No herds are mine to drive through the long twilight;
But the pretty girl that would take me, all bare though I be and lone,
O, I’d take her with me kindly to the County Tyrone!

O my girl, I can see ‘t is in trouble you are,
And, my girl, I see ‘t is your people’s reproach you bear.
“I am a girl in trouble for his sake with whom I fly,
And may no other maiden know such reproach as I!”

From: Williams, Alfred M., The Poets and Poetry of Ireland, with Historical and Critical Essays and Notes, 1881, James R. Osgood and Company: Boston, pp. 103-104.

Date: c1750 (original); 1865 (translation)

By: William English (1709-1778)

Translated by: Samuel Ferguson (1810-1886)


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