by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 - 1873)

Phaudrig Crohoore
Language: English  after the English 
Oh! Phaudrig Crohoore was the broth of a boy,
	An’ he stood six foot eight;
An' his arm was as round as another man's thigh -
	‘Tis Phaudrig was great.

An' his hair was as black as the shadows of night.
  An' hung over the scars left by many a fight;
An' his voice, like the thunder, was deep, strong, and loud,
  An' his eye like the lightning from under the cloud.

An' all the girls liked him, for he could spake civil,
  An' sweet when he liked it, for he was the divil.
An' there wasn't a girl from thirty-five under,
  Divil a matter how cross, but he could get round her.

But of all the sweet girls that smiled on him but one
  Was the girl of his heart, an' he loved her alone;
For warm as the sun, as the rock firm and sure,
  Was the love of the heart of Phaudrig Crohoore.
An' he'd die for one smile from his Kathleen O'Brien,
  For his love, like his hatred, was strong as the lion.

But Michael O'Hanlon loved Kathleen as well
  As he hated Crohoore, an' that same was like hell.
But O'Brien liked him, for they were the same parties,
  The O'Hanlons, O'Briens, and Murphys and Cartys;

An' they all went together and hated Crohoore,
  For it’s many's the batin’ he gave them before.
An' O'Hanlon made up to O'Brien, an' says he:
  "I'll marry your daughter if you'll give her to me.”

An' the match was made up, an' when Shrovetide came on
  The company assembled, three hundred, if one;
There was all the O’Hanlons, an’Murphys, an’ Cartys,
  An’ the young boys an' girls of all of them parties.

The O'Briens, of course, gather'd strong on that day,
  An' the pipers an' fiddlers were tearin' away;
There was roarin’, and’ jumpin’, and jiggin’, an’ flingin’,
  An’ jokin’, and blessin’, and kissin’, an’ singin’.

An' they wor all laughin’; why not, to be sure?
  That O'Hanlan came inside of Phaudrig Crohoore;
An' they talk'd an’ they laugh'd the length of the table,
  Atin’ an’ drinkin’ all while they were able;
An’ with pipin' and fiddlin' and roarin' like thunder,
  Your head you'd think fairly was splittin’ asunder.

An' the priest call’d out, "Silence, ye blackguards, agin.”
An' he took up his prayer-book just goin' to begin.
An' they all held their tongues from their funnin’ an’ bawlin’,
So silent you'd notice the smallest pin fallin'.

And the priest was just beginnin' to read, when the door
  Sprang back to the wall, an' in walk'd Crohoore.

Oh! Phaudrig Crohoore was a broth of a boy,
	An' he stood six feet eight;
An’ his arm was as round as another man's thigh,
	'Tis Phaudrig was great.

An' he walked slowly up, watch'd by many a bright eye,
  As a black cloud moves on thro’ the stars in the sky;
An’ none strove to stop him, for Phaudrig was great,
  Till he stood, all alone, opposite the sate
Where O'Hanlon and Kathleen, his beautiful bride,
  Were sittin’ so illigant out side by side.

An’ he gave her one look that her heart almost broke,
  An' he turn'd to O'Brien, her father, and spoke;
An' his voice, like the thunder, was deep, strong and loud,
  An' his eye shone like lightning from under a cloud.

"I did not come here like a tame, crawlin' mouse,
  But I stand like a man, in my enemies’ house.”
In the field, on the road, Phaudrig never knew fear
  Of his foemen, an' God know, he scorns it here.
“So laive me at aise, for three minutes or four
  To speak to the girl I'll never see more.”

And to Kathleen he turn’d, an' his voice changed its tone,
  For he thought of the days when he called her his own,
An’ his eyes blazed like lightning from under the cloud
  On his false-hearted girl, reproachful and proud,

An' says he: "Kathleen bawn, is it true what I hear,
  That you marry of your free choice without threat or fear?
If so, spake the word, an' I'll turn an' depart.
  Cheated once, an' once only, by woman's false heart."

Oh! sorrow and love made the poor girl dumb,
  An’ she tried hard to spake, but the words wouldn't come;
For the sound of his voice, as he stood there forninst her
  Went cold on her heart, as the night-wind in winter,
An' the tears in her blue eyes stood tremblin’ to flow,
  An’ pale was her cheek as the moonshine in snow.

Then the heart of bold Phaudrig swell'd high in its place,
  For he knew by one look in that beautiful face,
That, tho' strangers and foemen their pledged hands might sever,
  Her true heart was still his, an' his only for ever.

An' he lifted his voice like the eagle's hoarse call,
  An’ says Phaudrig: "She's mine still, in spite of you all."
Then up jumped O'Hanlon, an' a tall boy was he,
  An' he look'd on bold Phaudrig as fierce as could be;

An' says he: "By the holy before you go out,
  Bold Phaudrig Crohoore, you must fight for a bout.”
Then Phaudrig made answer, "I'll do my endeavor!”
  An' with one blow he stretched bold O'Hanlon for ever.

In his arms he took Kathleen, an' stepped to the door,
  An’ he leap'd on his horse, an' he flung her before.
An' they all were so bother'd that not a man stirred,
Till the galloping hoofs on the pavement were heard;

And up they all started, like bees in a swarm,
  An' they riz a great shout, like the burst of a storm;
An' they roar'd, an’ they ran, an' they shouted galore;
  But Kathleen and Phaudrig they never saw more.

Oh! Phaudrig Crohoore was a broth of a boy,
	An' he stood six feet eight;
An’ his arm was as round as another man's thigh,
	'Tis Phaudrig was great.

But them days are gone by, an’ he is no more,
  An' the green grass is growin' o'er Phaudrig Crohoore:
For he could not be aisy or quiet at all;
  As he lived a brave boy, he resolved so to fall.

So he took a good pike for Phaudrig was great,
  An’ he fought, an’ he died in the year ninety-eight;
An’ the day that Crohoore in the green field was killed,
  A strong boy was stretch’d, an’ a strong heart was still’d.

Line 1-1 : Phaudrig Crohoore = Patrick O'Connor, or Son of Connor
Line 1-1 : "broth of a boy" is an Irish expression meaning an outstanding or lively person; this phrase is found in Byron and is the title of a 1959 Irish comedy film; it may derive from Old Irish adjective “bruthach,” meaning hot, rash, or fiery
Line 6-2 : "batin'" = "beating"
Line 6-3 : "made up to" = "approached"
Line 7-2 : "three hundred, if one" means at least 300
Line 9-1 : "wor" = "were"
Line 9-2 : "came inside of" means beat, got ahead of, bested
Line 9-4 : "atin'" = "eating"
Line 10-1 : "blackguards" means scoundrels; some versions of the text have “babblers"
Line 13-4 : "sate" = "seat"
Line 15-5 : "laive me at aise" = "leave me at ease"
Line 17-1 : "bawn" - this is a possible reference to the Old Irish word “bán,” meaning white, fair-haired or a short. It could also be a shortened version of the Gaelic phrase “cailin bán,” meaning golden girl
Line 18-3 : "forninst" is a contraction of the words “fore” and “anent”, meaning to stand opposite someone or something
Line 21-1 : "holy" means "Holy Fathers"
Line 21-2 : "fight for a bout" means fight a bout, or have a fight
Line 21-3 : "endeavor" = "my best"
Line 21-4 : "stretched" means laid out, knocked out, struck dead
Line 22-2 : "flung her before" means swung her up in front of him on the horse
Line 25-3 : "aisy" = "easy"
Line 26-2 : in other words, he died fighting as a pikeman for the Irish against the British in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Rebels who were taken prisoner by the military were executed.

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Researcher for this text: Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-10-16
Line count: 112
Word count: 1073