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HER, that yer Honor was spakin' to ?

Whin, yer Honor ? last year
Standin' here be the bridge, when last yer

Honor was here?
An'
yer
Honor

ye gev her the top of the mornin', .To-morra,' says she What did they call her, yer Honor ? They

call'd her Molly Magee. An' yer

Honor's the thrue ould blood that

always manes to be kind, But there 's rason in all things, yer Honor,

for Molly was out of her mind.

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, yer

Honor, for forty year.

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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 Honor seen her there

was but a slip of a moon, But I hard thim - Molly Magee wid her

bachelor, 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 to-morra,' says he, 'be

the chapel-door. *An' whin are ye goin' to lave me?' O'

Monday mornin',' says he; • An’ shure thin ye 'll meet me to-morra ?'

• To-morra, to-morra, machree!' Thin Molly's ould mother, yer Honor, that had no likin' for Dan,

1 Grog-shop.

Och, Molly Magee, wid the red o' the rose

an'the white o' the may, An' yer

bair as black as the night, an' yer

eyes as bright as the day ! Achora. yer laste little whishper was sweet

is 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 an' a

half, me darlin', and be 'Ud 'a shot his own sowl dead for a kiss of

ye, Molly Magee.

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V 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

did n'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' 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.

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VI

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An' her nabors an' frinds 'ud consowl an'

condowl wid ber, airly an' late, • Your Danny,' they says, 'niver crasst over

say to the Sassenach whate; He's gone to the States, aroor., an' he's

married another wife, An'

ye 'll niver sct eyes an the face of the

thraithur agin in life! An' to dbrame 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.”

XI

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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 did n't know him meself, an' none of

the parish knew

VII

6

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, • To-morra, to-morra !' an' Father Mo

lowny he tuk her in han', · Molly, you ’re manin',' he says, 'me dear,

av I andherstan', 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, • To-inorra, to-morra,' she says, an' she

did n't intind to desave, But her wits wor dead, an' her hair was as

white as the snow an a grave.

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XII 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 to-morra !' an'dhropt down dead an the dead. 8c

XIII Och, Molly, we thought, machree, ye would

start back agin into life, Whin we laid yez, aich be aich, at

yer

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.

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VIII

Arrah now, here last month they wor dig

gin' the bog, an' they foun’ Dhrownded in black bog-watber a corp

lyin' undher groun'.

IX

Yer Honor'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 !

XIV Thin his Riverence buried thim both in

wan grave be the dead boor-tree, The young man Danny O'Roon wid his ould woman, Molly Magee.

1 Elder-tree.

IV

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as ye

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XV May all the flowers o' Jeroosilim blossom

an' spring from the grass, Imbrashin' an' kissin' aich other did over yer

Crass ! An' the lark fly out o' the flowers wid his

song to the sun an’ the moon, An' tell thim in hiven about Molly Magee

an' her Danny O'Roon, Till Holy Saint 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.

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XVI

a

An' now that I tould yer Honor whativer

I hard an' seen, Yer Honor 'ill give me a thrifle to dbrink

yer health in potheen.

Feyther 'ud saäy I wur ugly es sin, an' I

beänt not vaäin, But I niver wur downright hugly, thaw

soom 'ud 'a thowt ma plaäin, An' I was n't sa plaäin i' pink ribbons

ye said I wur pretty i' pinks, An' I liked to 'ear it I did, but I beänt

sich a fool as ye thinks; Ye was stroäkin' ma down wi' the 'air, as I

be a-stroäkin' o' you, But whiniver I loooked i' the glass I wur

sewer that it could n't be true; Niver wur pretty, not I, but ye knaw'd it

wur pleasant to 'ear, Tbaw it warn't not me es wur pretty, but

my two 'oonderd a-year.

20

THE SPINSTER'S SWEET-ARTS

I

VI

Milk for my sweet-arts, Bess ! fur it mun

be the time about now When Molly cooms in fro' the far-end close

wi' her paäils fro' the cow. Eh ! tha be new to the plaäce thou 'rt

gaäpin' — does n't tha see I calls 'em arter the fellers es once was

sweet upo' me ?

II

Naäy, to be sewer, it be past 'er time.

What maäkes 'er sa laäte ? Goä to the laäne at the back, an' looök thruf

Maddison's gaäte!

D' ya mind the murnin' when we was

a-walkin' togither, an' stood By the claäy’d-oop pond, that the foalk be

sa scared at, i’ Gigglesby wood, Wheer the poor wench drowndid hersen,

black Sal, es 'ed been disgraäced ? An' I feel'd thy arm es I stood wur

a-creeäpin' about my waäist; An' me es wur allus afear'd of a man's git

tin' ower fond, I sidled awaäy an' awaäy till I plumpt foot

fust i’ the pond; And, Robby, I niver 'a liked tha sa well, as

I did that daäy, Fur tha joompt in thysen, an' tha hoickt

my feet wi' a flop fro’ the claäy. Ay, stick oop thy back, an' set oop thy

taail, tha may gie ma a kiss, Fur I walk'd wi' tha all the way hoäm an'

wur niver sa nigh saayin' Yis. But wa boath was i' sich a clat we was

shaämed to cross Gigglesby Greean, Fur a cat may looök at a king, thou knaws,

but the cat mun be clean.

III

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Sa we boath on us kep' out o' sight o' the

winders o' Gigglesby Hinn Naäy, but the claws o' tha ! quiet ! they Sweärin' ageän, you Toms, as ye used to do pricks clean thruf to the skin

twelve year sin'! An' wa boäth slinkt 'oäm by the brokken Ye niver eärd Steevie sweär 'cep' it wur at shed i' the laäne at the back,

a dog coomin' in, Wheer the poodle runn'd at tha once, an' An' boäth o' ye mun be fools to be ballus thou runn’d oop o' the thack;

a-shawin' your claws, An' tha squeedg'd my 'and i' the shed, fur Fur I niver cared nothink for neither - an' theere we was forced to 'ide,

one o' ye deäd, ye knaws! Fur I seed that Steevie wur coomin', and Coom, give hoäver then, weänt ye? I warone o' the Tommies beside.

rant ye soom fine daäy. Theere, lig down - I shall hev to gie one

or tother awaäy. Theere now, what art 'a mewin' at, Stee- Can't ye taäke pattern by Steevie ? ye vie ? for owt I can tell

shan't hev a drop fro' the paäil. Robby wur fust, to be sewer, or I mowt ’a

Steevie be right good manners bang thruf liked tha as well.

to the tip o' the taäil.

XI

Robby, git down wi' tha, wilt tha ? let But, Robby, I thowt o' tha all the while I

Steevie coom oop o' my knee. wur chaängin' my gown,

Steevie, my lad, thou 'ed very nigh been An' I thowt, shall I chaänge my staäte ?

the Steevie fur me ! but, O Lord, upo' coomin' down

Robby wur fust, to be sewer, 'e wur burn My bran-new carpet es fresh es a midder

an' bred i' the 'ouse, o'flowers i’ Maäy —

But thou be es 'ansom a tabby es iver patted Why 'ed n't tha wiped thy shoes ? it wur

clatted all ower wi' claäy. An' I could 'a cried ammost, fur I seed that it could n't be,

An' I beänt not vaäin, but I knaws I 'ed An', Robby, I gied tha a raätin' that sat

led tha a quieter life tled thy coortin' o' me.

Nor her wi' the hepitaph yonder ! A An' Molly an' me was agreed, as we was

faäithful an' loovin' wife !' a-cleänin' the floor,

An' 'cos o' thy farm by the beck, an' thy That a man be a durty thing an'a trouble windmill oop o' the croft, an' plague wi' indoor.

Tha thowt tha would marry ma, did tha ? But I rued it arter a bit, fur I stuck to tha but that wur a bit ower soft, moor na the rest,

Thaw thou was es soäber es daäy, wi' a But I could n't 'a lived wi' a man, an' I niced red faäce, an' es cleän knaws it be all fur the best.

Es a shillin' fresh fro' the mint wi' a bran

new 'eäd o' the Queeän,

An' thy farmin' es cleän es thysen, fur, Naäy — let ma stroäk tha down till I Steevie, tha kep' it sa neät maäkes tha es smooth es silk,

That I niver not spied sa much es a poppy But if I 'ed married tha, Robby, thou 'd along wi' the wheät, not 'a been worth thy milk,

An' the wool of a thistle a-flyin' an' seeädin' Thou 'd niver 'a cotch'd ony mice but ’a

tha haäted to see; left me the work to do,

’T wur es bad es a battle-twig ''ere i' my

a And 'a taäen to the bottle beside, so es all

oän blue chaumber to me. that I 'ears be true;

Ay, roob thy whiskers ageän ma, fur I But I loovs tha to maäke thysen ’appy, an'

could 'a taäen to tha well, soä purr awaäy, my dear,

But fur thy bairns, poor Steevie, a bouncin' Thou 'ed wellnigh purr'd ma awaäy fro' my

boy an'a geli. oän two 'oonderd a-year.

a mouse.

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An' thou was es fond o' thy bairns es I be

mysen o' my cats, But I niver not wish'd fur childer, I hev u't

naw likin' fur brats; Pretty anew when ya dresses 'em oop, au’

they goäs fur a walk, Or sits wi' their 'ands afoor 'em, an' does n't

not 'inder the talk ! But their bottles o' pap, an' their mucky

bibs, an' the clats an' the clouts, An' their mashin' their toys to pieäces an'

maäkin' ma deäf wi' their shouts, An' hallus a-joompin' about ma as if they

was set upo' springs, An' a haxin' ma hawkard questions, an'

saäyin' ondecent things, An'a-callin' ma 'hugly' mayhap to my

faäce, or a-teärin' my gown Dear! dear! dear! I mun part them

Tommies — Steevie, git down.

An' the little gells bobs to ma hoffens es I

be abroad i' the laänes, When I goäs fur to coomfut the poor es be

down wi' their haäches au' their

paäins: An'a haäf-pot o' jam, or a mossel o' meät

when it beänt too dear, They maäkes ma a graäter lady nor 'er i’

the mansion theer, Hes 'es hallus to bax of a man how much

to spare or to spend; An' a spinster I be an' I will be, if soä pleäse God, to the hend.

XVIII Mew ! mew! Bess wi' the milk! what

ba maäde our Molly sa laäte ? It should ’a been 'ere by seven, an' theere

it be strikin' height •Cushie wur craäzed fur 'er cauf,' well

I 'eärd 'er a-maäkin' 'er moän, An' I thowt to mysen, 'thank God that I

hev n't naw cauf o' my oän.' Theere ! Set it down !

Now, Robby ! You Tommies shall waäit to-night Till Robby an' Steevie 'es 'ed their lap –

an’ it sarves ye right.

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Ye be wuss nor the men-tommies, you. I

tellid ya, na moor o' that ! Tom, lig theere o' the cushion, an' tother

Tom 'ere o' the mat.

XV

PROLOGUE

TO GENERAL HAMLEY

100

Theere ! I ha' master'd them! Hed I mar

ried the Tommies – O Lord, To loove an’obaäy the Tommies ! I could n't

'a stuck by my word. To be horder'd about, an' waäked, when

Molly 'd put out the light, By a man coomin' in wi' a hiccup at ony

hour o' the night! An' the taäble staäin'd wi' 'is aäle, an' the

mud o' 'is boots o' the stairs, An' the stink o' 'is pipe i' the 'ouse, an' the

mark o' 'is 'eäd o' the chairs ! An' noän o' my four sweet-arts 'ud 'a let

me 'a hed my oän waäy, Sa I likes 'em best wi' taäils when they 'ev n't a word to saäy.

XVI An' I sits i'my oän little parlor, an' sarved

by my oän little lass, Wi' my oän little garden outside, an' my

oän bed o' sparrow-grass, An' my oän door-poorch wi' the woodbine

an' jessmine a-dressin' it greeän, An' my oän fine Jackman i' purple a

roäbin' the 'ouse like a queeän.

The poem introduced by this Prologue was printed in . Macmillan's Magazine' for March, 1882. The Prologue and Epilogue were added when it appeared in the Tiresias' volume, 1885.

Sir Edward Bruce Hamley was born at Bodwin in Cornwall, April 27, 1824. He entered the army in 1843 ; served in the Crimean War; was successively professor of military history and commandant at the Staff College, Sandhurst (1858–77); was chief of the commission for the delimitation of the Balkan and Armenian frontiers (1879-80); and commanded a division in the Egyptian war of 1882. He was also the author of several works on military subjects. He died August 12, 1893.

Our birches yellowing and from each

The light leaf falling fast,

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