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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Soggarth Aroon
By John (1798–1842) and Michael (1796–1874) Banim
 
(“O Priest, O Love!”)

The Irish Peasant’s Address to his Priest

AM I the slave they say,
      Soggarth Aroon?
Since you did show the way,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Their slave no more to be,        5
While they would work with me
Ould Ireland’s slavery,
      Soggarth Aroon?
 
Why not her poorest man,
      Soggarth Aroon,        10
Try and do all he can,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Her commands to fulfill
Of his own heart and will,
Side by side with you still,        15
      Soggarth Aroon?
 
Loyal and brave to you,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Yet be no slave to you,
      Soggarth Aroon,        20
Nor out of fear to you
Stand up so near to you—
Och! out of fear to you!
      Soggarth Aroon!
 
Who, in the winter’s night,        25
      Soggarth Aroon,
When the cowld blast did bite,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Came to my cabin door,
And on my earthen floor        30
Knelt by me, sick and poor,
      Soggarth Aroon?
 
Who, on the marriage day,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Made the poor cabin gay,        35
      Soggarth Aroon;
And did both laugh and sing,
Making our hearts to ring,
At the poor christening,
      Soggarth Aroon?        40
 
Who, as friend only met,
      Soggarth Aroon,
Never did flout me yet,
      Soggarth Aroon?
And when my hearth was dim        45
Gave, while his eye did brim,
What I should give to him,
      Soggarth Aroon?
 
Och! you, and only you,
      Soggarth Aroon!        50
And for this I was true to you,
      Soggarth Aroon;
In love they’ll never shake
When for ould Ireland’s sake
We a true part did take,        55
      Soggarth Aroon!
 
 
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