Padraic Colum

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

Girls Spinning - Poem by Padraic Colum

FIRST GIRL
MALLO lero iss im bo nero!
Go where they're threshing and find me my lover,
Mallo lero iss im bo bairn!

SECOND GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Who shall I bring you? Rody the Rover?
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Listen and hear what he's singing over.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

(A man's voice sings
I went out m the evening, my sweetheart for to find;
I stood by her cottage window, as well I do mind;
I stood by her cottage window, and I thought I would get in,
But instead of pleasures for me my sorrows did begin!

Fine colour had my darling though it wasn't me was
there:
I did not sit beside her, but inside there was a pair!
I stood outside the window like a poor neglected soul,
And I waited till my own name was brought across the coal!

Here's a health unto the blackbird that sings upon the tree,
And here's to the willy-wagtail that goes the road with me!
Here's a health unto my darling and to them she makes her own:
She's deserving of good company; for me, I go my lone.

My love she is courteous and handsome and tall;
For wit and for behaviour she's foremost of them all!
She says she is in no way bound, that with me she'll go free,
But my love has too many lovers to have any love for me!
FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Who weds him might cry with the wandering plover!
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Where they're breaking the horses, go find me my lover!
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

SECOND GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Him with the strong hand I will bring from the clover.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
I wait till I hear what he's singing over.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

(Another man’s voice
Are they not the good men of Eirinn,
Who give not their thought nor their voice
To fortune, but take without dowry
The maids of their choice?

For the trout has sport in the river
Whether prices be up or low-down,
And the salmon, he slips through the water
Not heeding the town!

Then if she, the love of my bosom
Did laugh as she stood by my door,
O Fd rise then and draw her in to me,
With kisses go leor!

It's not likely the wind in the tree-tops
Would trouble our love nor our rest,
Not the hurrying footsteps would draw her,
My love from my breast!

FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
He sings to the girsha in the hazel-wood cover.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Go where they're shearing and find me my lover.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

SECOND GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
The newly-come youth is looking straight over!
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!
FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
If you mind what he sings you'll have silver trover.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!

(A young man's voice sings
Once I went over the ocean,
On a ship that was bound for proud Spain:
Some people were singing and dancing,
But I had a heart full of pain.

I'll put now a sail on the lake
That's between my treasure and me,
And I'll sail over the lake
Till I come to the Joyce country.

She'll hear my boat on the shingles,
And she'll hear my step on the land,
And the corncrake deep in the meadow
Will tell her that I'm at hand!

The summer comes to Glen Nefin
With heavy dew on the leas,
With the gathering of wild honey
To the tops of all the trees.

In honey and dew the summer
Upon the ground is shed,
And the cuckoo cries until dark
Where my storeen has her bed!

And if O'Hanlon's daughter
Will give me a welcome kind,
O never will my sail be turned
To a harsh and a heavy wind!

FIRST GIRL
Mallo lero iss im bo nero!
Welcome I'll give him over and over.
Mallo lero iss im bo baun!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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