Ethna Carbery

Handsome Brian O'Gallagher

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Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, you took my heart away
When you set your foot upon the ship and sailed that bitter day,
And in my dreams, both noon and night, I'm sighing o'er and o'er,
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

'Tis far and very far your feet have led you all alone,
No friendly faces near you, nor speech that is your own;
But withered verdure under, and a cruel sun before–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

Sure travel brings no ease, a gradh, but wakens memories sweet,
And a keen regret within you for a white hill-climbing street;
For the turf-fire's ruddy flicker, and the kindly open door–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

You must have met the fairies in some shadow-thridden glen,
Who shook their Fluttering Wisp at you, again and yet again,
And sowed the seed of wandering that keeps me sobbing sore–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher; shall I ever see you more?

The magic of the Fluttering Wisp has struck your clear eyes blind;
Since for an unknown world you leave this dearer world behind;
With its green and purple valleys, its songful woods go leor –
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

I will pray for you to Patrick, and on Brigid I will call–
(And there's many a holy toras to be said in Donegal),
And Colmcille will listen from his throne on Heaven's floor–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

Oh! thinking long 's the weary work; it breaks my heart from dawn,
Till all the solemn shining stars come out at dayli'gone;
And with the dart of sorrow I am wounded to the core–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher, shall I ever see you more?

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Ethna Carbery