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Sweet Norah, come here, and look into...

Language: English

"Sweet Norah, come here, and look into the fire;
   Maybe in its embers good luck we might see;
But don't come too near, or your glances so shining,
   Will put it clean out, like the sunbeams, machree!

"Just look 'twixt the sods, where so brightly they're burning;
   There's a sweet little valley, with rivers and trees, --
And a house on the bank, quite as big as the squire's --
   Who knows but some day we'll have something like these?

"And now there's a coach, and four galloping horses,
   A coachman to drive, and a footman behind;
That betokens some day we will keep a fine carriage,
   And dash through the streets with the speed of the wind."

As Dermot was speaking, the rain down the chimney
   Soon quenched the turf-fire on the hollowed hearth-stone;
While mansion and carriage in smoke-wreaths evanished,
   And left the poor [dreamers]1 dejected and lone.

Then Norah to Dermot these words softly whisper'd, --
   "'Tis better to strive, than to vainly desire;
And our little hut by the roadside is better
   Than palace, and servants, and coach -- in the fire!"

'Tis years since poor Dermot his fortune was dreaming --
   Since Norah's sweet counsel effected its cure;
For ever since then hath he toiled night and morning,
   And now his snug [mansion]2 looks down on the Suir.


About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Ballads of Ireland; collected and edited by Edward Hayes, Vol. II, Miscellaneous Ballads, Boston, Patrick Donahoe, 1857, page 321.

1 Fernald: "dreamer"
2 Fernald: "cottage"

Submitted by Rohan Srinivasan [Guest Editor]

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Text added to the website: 2018-07-02.
Last modified: 2018-07-02 20:24:52
Line count: 24
Word count: 218

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