I've been soft in a small way On the girleens of Galway, And the Limerick lasses have made me feel quare; But there's no use denyin' No girl I've set eye on Could compate wid Rose Ryan of the town of Kenmare. O, where Can her like be found? Nowhere, The country round, Spins at her wheel Daughter as true, Sets in the reel, Wid a slide of the shoe a slinderer, tinderer, purtier, wittier colleen than you, Rose, aroo! Her hair mocks the sunshine, And the soft, silver moonshine Neck and arm of the colleen complately eclipse; Whilst the nose of the jewel Slants straight as Cam Tual From the heaven in her eye to her heather-sweet lips. O, where Did your eyes ever follow The wings of the swallow Here and there, light as air, o'er the meadow field glance? For if not you've no notion Of the exquisite motion Of her sweet little feet as they dart in the dance. O, where If y'inquire why the nightingale Still shuns the invitin' gale That wafts every song-bird but her to the West, Faix she knows, I suppose, Ould Kenmare has a Rose That would sing any Bulbul to sleep in her nest. O, where When her voice gives the warnin' For the milkin' in the mornin' Ev'n the cow known for hornin' comes runnin' to her pail; The lambs play about her And the small bonneens snout her, Whilst their parints salute her wid a twisht of the tail. O, where, etc. When at noon from our labour We draw neighbour wid neighbour From the heat of the sun to the shilter of the tree, Wid spuds fresh from the bilin' And new milk you come smilin', All the boys' hearts beguilin', alannah machree! O, where, etc. But there's one sweeter hour When the hot day is o'er And we rest at the door wid the bright moon above, And she sittin' in the middle, When she's guessed Larry's riddle, Cries, "Now for your fiddle, Shiel Dhuv, Shiel Dhuv." O, where Can her like be found? Nowhere, The country round, Spins at her wheel Daughter as true, Sets in the reel, Wid a slide of the shoe, a slinderer, tinderer, purtier, wittier colleen than you, Rose, aroo!
- by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931), "The Rose of Kenmare", appears in Father O'Flynn and other Irish Lyrics, London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., pages 15-18, first published 1889 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Mary Grant Carmichael (1851 - 1935), "The Rose of Kenmare", published 1890 [voice and piano], from the collection Album of Six Songs by A. P. Graves, no. 5, London: Boosey & Co. [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website: 2013-04-12
Line count: 73
Word count: 380