A Lassie Came Kissing

From the Irish Urchill an Chreagain, ("Creggan Graveyard") by Art McCooey (1715 to 1773). Mac Cooey (Mac Cumhaidh) was one of a handful of Irish-speaking poets in south east Ulster. In the previous century, the Gaelic chieftains had been replaced (in the Elizabethan, Cromwellian and Williamite plantations) by a new set of protestant, English-speaking landlords. In the poem, McCooey hankers after the old days where the poets and songsters were welcome in the big houses and richly rewarded for their performances.

A lassie came kissing
      To me
      As in bed I lay;
A girl of rare beauty
      And grace
      Who, smiling, did say:
"Rise from your sorrow;
      With me
      By your side, come away
To a fine honeyed land
      Where the Eng-
       lishman still has no sway.

"To a true Gaelic land
      Where the people
      Will beg you to play
And list to your music
      And dance
      And be merry and  gay.
There'll be deep admiration
      Of your songs
      And joy in your play,
And I by your side
      To love
      At the end of the day.

From my bed as I rose
      The aches all
      Fell from my bones;
My deep sorrow lifted
      And happ-
      iness then filled my soul.
I will saddle my horse
      And gingerly
      Take to the road
With my princess beside me,
      With joy
      I am now coming home.

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