Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
Dark Margaret
John Fisher Murray (1811–1865)
      WE sit by the fire,
    My poor old wife and I;
The fire burns slow, our hearts are low,
    And the tear stands in the eye.
For our daughters three who are over the sea,        5
    Far, far, in the wooded west;
One after one, our darlings are gone;
    But our Mary we loved the best.
      My brother’s son
    Sits in the chimney by us;        10
The staff of our age,—hard, hard is the page
    Of the lesson that keeps him by us.
For he longs to be free, to go over the sea,
    Where his kindred have found their rest.
One after one, our darlings are gone,        15
    But our Mary he loved the best.
      Welcome, Margaret!
  Dear Margaret, have you come?
Draw nigh to the fire, and tighten the wire,
    And sing us a song of home.        20
For though heaven denies the light to your eyes,
    Yet never were expressed
By the Harper King such strains as you sing,
    And our Mary loved them best.
      Sit by me, Margaret,        25
    Dear Margaret, sit by my side;
For you loved my dearest daughter, far o’er the worldwide water,
    Who should have been our Patrick’s bride.
O, sing me her songs, for my poor heart longs
    To clasp her to my breast;        30
Though tears it will bring, yet my darling must sing
    What our Mary loved the best.
      You are there, Patrick!
    I feel your breathing soft upon my cheek;
A tear is in your eye, and well your heart knows why;        35
    You are there I say, although you do not speak.
I have been to pleasant Meath, and to rich Fingal beneath,
    And homeward I am going to the west;
And I thought as I did pass I would sing the “Colleen Dhas,”
    That one you loved so well, and best.        40
      Hark! she sings.
    Tremblingly over the strings her fingers stray;
And the light that heaven denies to her clear but darkened eyes,
    Her wreathed smiles and dimpling cheeks betray.
O, it is our “Colleen Dhas,” as her pleasant days did pass,        45
    Loudly lilting at the milking with the rest;
Soon, soon, alas! in sighs and tears, she leaves our longing eyes:
    The Mary we all loved the best.
      No more, my dearest Margaret,—
    Sing the “Colleen Dhas” no more;        50
For her father and her mother loved her more than any other,
    And her parting grieves them sore.
You have been to pleasant Meath, and to rich Fingal beneath,
    And homeward you are going to the west;
Tell us all the country news, the merriest you can choose,        55
    To pleasure the old couple we love best.
      I have been to pleasant Meath, and to rich Fingal beneath,
    And homeward I am going to the west;
I will tell the country news, the merriest I can choose,
    To pleasure the old couple we love best.        60
Your Mary has come home,—your loved and loving one,
    And here she comes to tell you all the rest!
Now, Patrick, fill your glass, while I sing the “Colleen Dhas,”
    With a welcome home to Mary, you love best.

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