by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

The Rose of Kenmare
Language: English 
     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!

Authorship

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: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2013-04-12
Line count: 73
Word count: 380