A poem by Alfred Tennyson

HER, that yer Honour was spakin’ to? Whin, yer Honour? last year—
Standin’ here be the bridge, when last yer Honour was here?
An’ yer Honour ye gev her the top of the mornin’, ‘Tomorra’ says she.
What did they call her, yer Honour? They call’d her Molly Magee.
An’ yer Honour’s the thrue ould blood that always manes to be kind,
But there’s rason in all things, yer Honour, for Molly was out of her mind.

Shure, an’ meself remimbers wan night comin’ down be the sthrame,
An’ it seems to me now like a bit of yisther-day in a dhrame—
Here where yer Honour seen her—there was but a slip of a moon,
But I hard thim—Molly Magee wid her batchelor, Danny O’Roon—
‘You’ve been takin’ a dhrop o’ the crathur’ an’ Danny says ‘Troth, an’ I been
Dhrinkin’ yer health wid Shamus O’Shea at Katty’s shebeen;1
But I must be lavin’ ye soon.’ ‘Ochone are ye goin’ away?’
‘Goin’ to cut the Sassenach whate’ he says ‘over the say’—
‘An’ whin will ye meet me agin?’ an’ I hard him ‘Molly asthore,
I’ll meet you agin tomorra,’ says he, ‘be the chapel-door.’
‘An’ whin arc ye goin’ to lave me?’ ‘O’ Monday mornin’’ says he;
‘An’ shore thin ye’ll meet me tomorra?’ ‘Tomorra, tomorra, Machree!’
Thin Molly’s ould mother, yer Honour, that had no likin’ for Dan,
Call’d from her cabin an’ tould her to come away from the man,
An’ Molly Magee kern flyin’ acrass me, as light as a lark,
Au’ Dan stood there for a minute, an’ thin wint into the dark.
But wirrah! the storm that night—the tundher, an’ rain that fell,
An’ the sthrames runnin’ down at the back o’ the glin ’ud ’a dhrownded Hell.

But airth was at pace nixt mornin’, an’ Hiven in its glory smiled,
As the Holy Mother o’ Glory that smiles at her sleepin’ child—
Ethen—she stept an the chapel-green, an’ she turn’d herself roun’
Wid a diamond dhrop in her eye, for Danny was not to be foun’,
An’ many’s the time that I watch’d her at mass lettin’ down the tear,
For the Divil a Danny was there, yet Honour, for forty year.

Och, Molly Magee, wid the red o’ the rose an’ the white o’ the May,
An’ yer hair as black as the night, an’ yer eyes as bright as the day
Achora, yer laste little whishper was sweet as the lilt of a bird!
Acushla, ye set me heart batin’ to music wid ivery word!
An’ sorra the Queen wid her sceptre in sich an illigant han’,
An’ the fall of yer foot in the dance was as light as snow an the lan’,
An’ the sun kem out of a cloud whiniver ye walkt in the shtreet,
An’ Shamus O’Shea was yer shadda, an’ laid himself undher yer feet,
An’ I loved ye meself wid a heart and a half, me darlin’, and he
’Ud ’a shot his own sowl dead for a kiss of ye, Molly Magee.

But shure we wor betther frinds whin I crack’d his skull for her sake.
An’ he ped me back wid the best he could give at ould Donovan’s wake—
For the boys wor about her agin whin Dan didn’t come to the fore,
An’ Shamus along wid the rest, but she put thim all to the door.
An’, afther, I thried her meself av the bird ’ud come to me call,
But Molly, begorrah, ’ud listhen to naither at all, at all.

An’ her nabours an frinds ’ud consowl an’ condowl wid her, airly and late,
‘Your Danny,’ they says, ‘niver crasst over say to the Sassenach whate;
He’s gone to the States, aroon, an’ he’s married another wife,
An’ ye’ll niver set eyes an the face of the thraithur agin in life
An’ to dhrame of a married man, death alive, is a mortial sin.’
But Molly says ‘I’d his hand-promise, an’ shure he’ll meet me agin.’

An’ afther her paärints had inter’d glory, an’ both in wan day,
She began to spake to herself, the crathur, an’ whishper, an’ say
‘Tomorra, Tomorra!’ an’ Father Molowny he tuk her in han’,
‘Molly, you’re manin’,’ he says, ‘me dear, av I undherstan’,
That ye’ll meet your paärints agin an’ yer Danny O’Roon afore God
Wid his blessed Marthyrs an’ Saints;’ an’ she gev him a frindly nod,
‘Tomorra, Tomorra,’ she says, an’ she didn’t intind to desave,
But her wits wor dead, an’ her hair was as white as the snow an a grave.

Arrah now, here last month they wor diggin’ the bog, an’ they foun’
Dhrownded in black bog-wather a corp lyin’ undher groun’.

Yer Honour’s own agint, he says to me wanst, at Katty’s shebeen,
‘The Divil take all the black lan’, for a blessin’ ’ud come wid the green!’
An’ where ’ud the poor man, thin, cut his bit o’ turf for the fire?
But och! bad scran to the bogs whin they swallies the man intire!
An’ sorra the bog that’s in Hiven wid all the light an’ the glow,
An’ there’s hate enough, shure, widout thim in the Divil’s kitchen below.

Thim ould blind nagers in Agypt, I hard his Riverence say,
Could keep their haithen kings in the flesh for the Jidgemint day,
An’, faix, be the piper o’ Moses, they kep the cat an’ the dog,
But it ’ud ’a been aisier work av they lived be an Irish bog.

How-an-iver they laid this body they foun’ an the grass
Be the chapel-door, an’ the people ’ud see it that wint in to mass—
But a frish gineration had riz, an’ most of the ould was few,
An’ I didn’t know him meself, an’ none of the parish knew.

But Molly kem limpin’ up wid her stick, she was lamed iv a knee,
Thin a slip of a gossoon call’d, ‘Div ye know him, Molly Magee?’
An’ she stood up strait as the Queen of the world—she lifted her head—
‘He said he would meet me tomorra!’ an’ dhropt down dead an the dead.

Och, Molly, we thought, machree, ye would start back agin into life,
Whin we laid yez, aich be aich, at yet wake like husban’ an’ wife.
Sorra the dhry eye thin but was wet for the frinds that was gone!
Sorra the silent throat but we hard it cryin’ ‘Ochone!’
An’ Shamus O’Shea that has now ten childer, hansome an’ tall,
Him an’ his childer wor keenin’ as if he had lost thim all.

Thin his Riverence buried thim both in wan grave be the dead boor-tree,2
The young man Danny O’Roon wid his ould woman, Molly Magee.

May all the flowers o’ Jeroosilim blossom an’ spring from the grass,
Imbrashin’ an’ kissin’ aich other—as ye did—over yer Crass!
An’ the lark fly out o’ the flowers wid his song to the Sun an’ the Moon,
An’ tell thin in Hiven about Molly Magee an’ her Danny O’Roon,
Till Holy St. Pether gets up wid his kays an’ opens the gate!
An’ shure, be the Crass, that’s betther nor cuttin’ the Sassenach whate
To be there wid the Blessed Mother, an’ Saints an’ Marthyrs galore,
An’ singin’ yer ‘Aves’ an’ ‘Pathers’ for iver an’ ivermore.

Au’ now that I tould yer Honour what-iver I hard an’ seen,
Yer Honour ’ill give me a thrifle to dhrink yer health in potheen.

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