There is never a merrier lad in the town or a wilder lad on the fells,
Till I fall to dreaming and thinking of the place where my lost love dwells,
Winter snow on Slieve na m-Ban, and it evermore drifting above
The small blossom of the blackthorn who is my own true love.
Were I but down below in a boat I would float out over the sea,
And many and many a line of love I would waft o'er the wave to thee;
My lasting sorrow, wound of my heart, that we are not together found
In the mountain glens at sunrise when the dew lies on the ground.
I myself leave you my thousand farewells in the townland of the trees,
And in every place I have travelled going up and down from the seas;
There is many a weary miry road and crooked damp boreen,
Parting me from the cabin of my own Storeen.
Oh! Paddy, would you think ill of me if you saw that I was crying?
And oh! Paddy, would you think ill of me if you knew me to be dying?
Oh! Paddy of the bound black hair, your mouth and your words were sweet,
But I knew not the hundred twists in your heart, nor the thousand turns on your feet.
Deep down in my pocket is lying the ribbon you wound in my hair,
The men of Erin together could not tear it away from there;
All, all is over between us, you and I have said our say,
And I'll soon be lying quiet in the cold damp clay.
He is the foolish man, indeed, who would spring at the ditch that is steep,
If close at his hand lay the fence of furze he could take at a single leap;
Though the rowan-berry swings high, it is bitterest out of the top,
While thick from the lowliest shrubs the ripe rasps and the blackberries drop.
O Virgin beloved! I am lost if his face should be now turned away;
What knowledge have I how to reach his house and his kinsfolk this day?
My mother bent double with age, and my father long laid in the tomb,
And mad anger on my people towards me, and my love fled home.
Are you going from me for ever, honey mouth, hair of flame?
If you come not back, avourneen, you leave me blind, dumb, and lame;
No skiff have I to bring you back, I am broken life and limb;
The raging ocean rolls between us and I have no strength to swim!