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IRISH

THE SHOOGY SHOO

I do be thinking, lassie, of the old days now,
For oh, your hair is tangled gold above your Irish brow
And oh, your eyes are fairy flax, no other flower so blue,
Come nestle in my arms and swing upon the shoogy shoo.
     Sweet and slow,
     Swinging low,
     Eyes of Irish blue,
All my heart is swinging, dear, swinging here with you,
     Irish eyes are like the flax
     And mine are wet with dew,
Thinking of the old days upon the shoogy shoo.

When meadow larks would singing be

In old Glentair was one I knew had eyes like you and tangled golden hair
We were but lad and lassie then and all the world was new
That swung us high and swung us low upon the shoogy shoo.
     Sweet and slow,
     Swinging low,
     Eyes of Irish blue,
All my heart is swinging, dear, swinging here with you,
     Irish eyes are like the flax
     And mine are wet with dew,
Thinking of the old days upon the shoogy shoo.

Ah, well, the world goes up and down and some sweet day,

Its shoogy shoo will swing us two where sighs will pass away,
So nestle here your bonnie head and close your eyes so true
And swing with me in memory upon the shoogy shoo.
     Sweet and slow,
     Swinging low,
     Eyes of Irish blue,
All my heart is swinging, dear, swinging here with you.
     Irish eyes are like the flax
     And mine are wet with dew,
Thinking of the old days upon the shoogy shoo.





KATHLEEN AT THE DOOR

     Since first we trod the world's road 'tis many a weary day,
And eyes as bright and hearts as light have long since passed away,
     But well I know a gable low where swallows build with clay,
And whiles I hear the bells chime clear far down old Dublin bay.
     They nearer creep in soft sweep till in my dreams, asthore,
I see gray walls of Dublin town and Kathleen at the door.
     The tall sweet lass, as years pass, grows ever near to me,
Though oft I'm told the both are cold beside the Shannon lea,
     She and the lad; I'd fain be glad; from toil and sorrow free
By its fair tide they gently bide the time that is to be
     When I shall see, from life free, in Heaven's bright land, asthore,
The gray old walls of Dublin town and Kathleen at the door.







MIDNIGHT IN DERRY

When midnight chimes from out old Derry's walls
Pale shapes along the time worn ramparts run,
Half unseen soldiers work each rusty gun,
And ghostly sentry unto sentry calls;
The wide new town in crumbling ruin falls,
The grim besiegers to their camp return,
In pallid ring the hostile watch-fires burn,
And sudden wraith of night attack appalls.

By the cathedral walls the warrior dead

Hear comrade's heels go clanking overhead
And rise to join the fierce unequal fight,
At Walker's call. All in the gray moonlight
The Banshee wails along the river lands
And beats the water with long misty hands.




THE LEPRECHAUN

In County Kerry minding cows
     One day in early spring
I chanced to see a Leprechaun
     Quite busy hammering.
He sat behind the meadow hedge,
     A mending one old shoe
As older folk had always said
     A Leprechaun would do.

"Ho, Leprechaun, ho, Leprechaun

     See now I have you fast,
I've looked for you full many a day
     And you are mine at last.
Where do you keep your money, sir!
     That's what I want to know,
Now tell me where it's hidden, or
     I will not let you go."

The Leprechaun looked by me straight,

     Down to the meadow's edge,
"Look there!" said he, "your father's cows
     Have broken through the hedge."
But never once I looked away,
     For everybody knows
Unless you watch the Leprechaun;
     Whisht! Out of sight he goes.

"And hark!" said he, "What is that noise,

     That sounds along the track?
The Squire is galloping this way,
     He's here just at your back!"
But never once I looked away
     For often I've been told,
That you must watch the Leprechaun
     If you would get his gold.

"Ho, Leprechaun, ho, Leprechaun,

     Where may it hidden be,
This gold of yours? Now tell me, or
     You never shall go free.
I will not take my eye from you,
     That same you need not fear,
For well I know that if I do,
     You'll quickly disappear."

"Good master, ho! good master, now

     Come down this way with me,
A mighty field of boliauns
     We both can plainly see,
And underneath this single bush
     My gold is placed with care,
Go fetch a spade and dig, and you
     Shall surely find it there."

"Ho! Leprechaun, ho! Leprechaun,

     You think to trick me well!
This bush from any other bush
     How surely shall I tell?
A mile this field of boliauns
     Doth reach each way, alack
How shall I know this single bush
     When spade and I come back?"

"Good Master, ho! Good Master, now

     My garter russet red,
I fasten to this single bush."
     The Leprechaun then said,
"And when to dig you shall come back,
     You still shall find it there,
I will not touch that same again,
     Good Master, I declare."

A Leprechaun to break his word,

     No living man yet knew,
And so I set the rascal free,
     And to my cabin flew,
But when with spade in willing hand
     Back to the place I sped,
The whole broad field of boliauns
     Was blushing russet red.

With garters here, and garters there,

     Hung on each bush and tree;
Sure all the hose in fairyland
     Down at the heel must be:
And hidden by the boliaun
     The fairy gold still lies,
Until again a Leprechaun
     I happen to surprise.





THE HILLS OF DONEGAL

Last night I watched a wee bit girl,
A sonsie slip, with hair and eyes,
That with the raven in its curl,
These blue as lakes in Paradise.
Beneath her chin the fiddle sang
From out its heart a teasing song.
From echoing halls of home it rang
While memory danced with me along.

Oh, wild and sad she made it croon.
The storm wind skirled across the brae.
The heart of sorrow through the tune
Keened wild for them that's won away.
All night along the lonely lea
I heard the pleading plover call
And long lost voices spoke to me
From out the hills of Donegal.

Then swift the wee white fingers fly;

The blackbird whistled on the tree,
The larks danced music in the sky,
Glenannan waters called to me.
The floor was clean, the lads were out,
The lassies singing blithe and gay
While swung the jolly reel about
In the old home so far away.

Ah, lassie, with the swift white hands

Ye weave a charm no man may know
To take my soul to other lands
In voices of the long ago.
The morrow's morn may bring its pain
But in your music's lilt and fall
Last night I was a lad again
Among the hills of Donegal.

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