Air― ‘The Unfortunate Rake.’

Oh! sure ’tis some fairy
Has set me contrairy,
No more blithe and airy I sing as I go;
No longer in clover,
A free-hearted rover,
I lilt a light ditty or shake a loose toe!
In Leinster and Ulster,
Through Connaught and Munster,
‘Twas I made the fun stir wherever I stray’d;
And a jovialler fellow,
While sober or mellow,
Ne’er toss’d off a jorum or wooed a fair maid.

Till once in the May time,
The tuneful and gay time—
(Ah, I fear ‘twas the fay-time)—from eve to the dawn,
I play’d for a maiden,
With hair simply braiden,
With eyes of soft lustre and grace like the fawn—
Those eyes, while she listened,
Through dewy drops glistened,
Or sparkled like gems in the light of the moon;
Some witchcraft was in it,
For since that blessed minute,
I’m like poor young Johnny who played but one tune.

For whether I’m strolling
Where billows are rolling,
Or sweet bells are chiming o’er Shannon or Lee;
My wild harp when sweeping,
Where fountains are leaping,
At lone Gougane Barra or storied Lough Neagh—
To priest or to peasant,
No matter who’s present,
In sad hours or pleasant, by mountain or stream,
To the careless or cannie,
To colleen or granny,
Young Rose of Knockmany is ever my theme.