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Padraic Colum

(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

A Ballad Maker


ONCE I loved a maiden fair,
Over the hills and jar away,
Lands she had and lovers to spare,
Over the hills and far away.
And I was stooped and troubled sore,
And my face was pale, and the coat I wore
Was thin as my supper the night before
Over the hills and far away.

Once I passed in the Autumn late,
Over the hills and jar away,
Her bawn and barn and painted gate,
Over the hills and jar away.
She was leaning there in the twilight space,
Sweet sorrow was on her fair young face,
And her wistful eyes were away from the place,
Over the hills and jar away.

Maybe she thought as she watched me come,
Over the hills and jar away,
With my awkward stride and my face so glum,
Over the hills and jar away.
Spite of his stoop, he still is young,
They say he goes the Shee among,
Ballads he makes; I've heard them sung
Over the hills and jar away.

She gave me good-night in gentle wise,
Over the hills and jar away,
Shyly lifting to mine, dark eyes,
Over the hills and jar away.
What could I do but stop and speak,
And she no longer proud, but meek?
She plucked me a rose like her wild-rose cheek-
Over the hills and jar away.

To-morrow Mavourneen a sleeveen weds,
Over the hills and jar away,
With corn in haggard and cattle in sheds,
Over the hills and jar away.
And I who have lost her, the dear, the rare-
Well, I got me this ballad to sing at the fair,
Twill bring enough money to drown my care,
Over the hills and jar away.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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  • isam Abdelrahman (10/29/2012 2:00:00 AM)

    Jar that means irritating sounds of the cart wheels is real magic in the refrain. you hear it and see the poet on the cart and feel the long way as felt by the loving poet on his way to his sweetheart. (Report) Reply

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