Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Songs and Ballads.
IV. Home to Carriglea
By Ellen O’Leary (1831–1889)
 
A Ballad

MY Noney, lay your work aside
  For I have news to tell:
I met a friend, a dear old friend—
  We’ve known him long and well;
When you were but a toddling babe        5
  He danced you on his knee;
But oh! ’twas in the good old times,
  At home in Carriglea.
 
Just now amidst the busy crowd,
  As I was toiling on        10
With drooping heart and flagging steps,
  His mild glance on me shone;
His voice seemed like an angel’s voice,
  With such sweet sympathy
He talked of all the good old times        15
  At home in Carriglea.
 
He clasped my hand in his warm grasp,
  His kind eyes filled with tears,
To see me look so thin and wan
  After those weary years;        20
And gazing in his face I thought
  I ne’er had crossed the sea,
But still was playing hide and seek
  At home in Carriglea.
 
Once more I saw its rose-crowned porch,        25
  And the little stream close by,
Where oft we watched the young brikeens 1
  Or paddled on the sly;
Or in the sunny summer days
  Climbed up the old oak tree;        30
Oh! we were happy children then,
  At home in Carriglea.
 
How softly on our curly locks
  My mother’s hands would rest,
She’d pat each sunburnt, rosy cheek,        35
  And press us to her breast;
You, Noney dear, when tired of play,
  Would nestle lovingly
Within her tender sheltering arms
  At home in Carriglea.        40
 
When you were only six years old
  There came a woeful change,
Dear mother, always sad and pale,
  Poor father wild and strange,—
He’d rave of cruel landlords,        45
  And curse their tyranny.
His proud heart broke, the day he left
  His home in Carriglea.
 
And with the falling of the leaf
  My mother faded, too;        50
And as I watched her hour by hour
  More and more weak she grew;
The night she died, she blessed us both
  So sadly, tenderly,
That all the kindly neighbours wept        55
  At home in Carriglea.
 
Oh! may God bless the faithful friends
  Who, in the hour of need,
Thronged round the lonely orphan girls.
  Oh! they were friends indeed:        60
And he, the truest, kindest, best,
  Has come across the sea,
To take a wife and sister home—
  Home, home to Carriglea.
 
Note 1. Little trout. [back]
 
 
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