by William Allingham (1824 - 1889)

Among the heather
Language: English 
One evening walking out, I o'er took a modest colleen,
When the wind was blowing cold, and the harvest leaves were falling,
"Is our road, by chance, the same? Might we travel on together?" 
"O, I keep the mountain side" (she replied), "among the heather.

"Your mountain air is sweet when the days are long and sunny,
When the grass grows round the rocks, and the whin-bloom smells like honey;
But the winter's coming fast, with its foggy, smoky weather,
And you'll find it bleak and chill on your hill, among the heather."

She praised her mountain home: and I'll praise it too, with reason,
For where Molly is, there's sunshine and flowers at every season.
Be the moorland black or white, does it signify a feather
Now I know the way by heart, every part, among the heather?

The sun goes down in haste, and the night falls thick and stormy;
Yet I'd travel twenty miles to the welcome that's before me;
Singing hi for Eskydun, in the teeth of wind and weather!
Love'll warm me as I go, through the snow, among the heather.

Confirmed with William Allingham, Irish Songs and Poems, London: Reeves and Turner, 1887, pages 133-135.

Note: whin-bloom = furze blossoms


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

Researcher for this text: Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website: 2016-09-21
Line count: 16
Word count: 186