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William Percy French

Remember me

Remember me is all I ask,
And yet
If the remembrance prove a task,
Forget.

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Celestial Painting (Sunset at Renvyle)

When painters leave this world, we grieve
For the hand that will work no more,
But who can say that they rest alway
On that still celestial shore?
No! No! they choose from the rainbow hues,
And winging from Paradise,
They come to paint, now bold now faint,
The tones of our sunset skies.
When I see them there I can almost swear
That grey is from Whistler's brain!
That crimson flush was Turner's brush!
And the gold is Claude Lorraine.

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If I should die tonight

"If I should die tonight
And you should come,
And stand beside me,
Lying cold and dumb,
And if while standing there,
You whispered low,
'Here's the ten pounds
You lent me years ago,'
I would arise, although they'd laid me flat,
And say, 'What's that?'

If I should die tonight
But rose to count
With trembling fingers,
That long lost amount
I might live on;
But when
You said' Here's your umbrella
And your fountain pen,'
For one short space

[...] Read more

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Gortnamona

Long, long ago in the woods of Gortnamona,
I thought the birds were singing in the blackthorn tree;
But oh, it was my heart that was ringing, ringing, ringing,
With the joy that you were bringing, oh my love, to me

Long, long ago in the woods of Gortnamona,
I thought the wind was sighing round the blackthorn tree;
But oh, it was the banshee that was crying, crying, crying,
And I knew my love was dying far across the sea.

Now if you go through the woods of Gortnamona,
You hear the raindrops creeping through the blackthorn tree;
But oh, it is the tears I am weeping, weeping, weeping,
For the loved one that is sleeping far away from me.

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To the West

The Midland Great Western is doing its best,
And the circular ticket is safe in my vest;
But I know that my holiday never begins
Till I'm in Connemara among the Twelve Pins.

The Bank has no fortune of mine to invest
But there's money enough for the ones I love best;
All the gold that I want I shall find on the whins
When I'm in Connemara among the Twelve Pins.

Down by the Lough I shall wander once more'
Where the wavelets lap lap round the stones on the shore:
And the mountainy goats will be wagging their chins
As they pull at the bracken among the Twelve Pins.

And its welcome I'll be, for no longer I'll meet
The hard pallid faces I find in the street;
The girl with blue eyes, and the boy with brown shins,
Will stand for their pictures among the twelve Pins.

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The Mountains of Mourne

Oh Mary this London's a wonderful sight
With people here workin' by day and by night
They don't sow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat
But there's gangs of them diggin' for gold in the street
At least when I asked them that's what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin' for gold
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I believe that when writin' a wish you expressed
As to how the fine ladies in London were dressed
Well if you'll believe me, when asked to a ball
They don't wear no top to their dresses at all
Oh I've seen them meself and you could not in truth
Say that if they were bound for a ball or a bath
Don't be startin' them fashions, now Mary McCree
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

There's beautiful girls here, oh never you mind
With beautiful shapes nature never designed

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Are Ye Right, There, Michael?

You may talk of Columbus's sailing
Across the Atlantical Sea
But he never tried to go railing
From Ennis as far as Kilkee
You run for the train in the morning,
The excursion train starting at eight
You're there when the clock gives the warnin'
And there for an hour you'll wait
And as you're waiting in the train,
You'll hear the guard sing this refrain-

Are ye right there, Michael, are ye right?
Do you think that we'll be there before the night?
Ye've been so long in startin',
That ye couldn't say for startin'
Still ye might now, Michael,
So ye might!

They find out where the engine's been hiding,
And it drags you to Sweet Corofin;

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Andy McElroe

My brother Andy said, that for a soldier he would go,
So great excitement came upon the house of McElroe.
My father sold a bog-hole to equip him for the war.
And my mother sold the cushions of her Sunday jaunting car.
And when brave Andy reach'd the front, 'twas furious
work he made,
They appointed him a private in the Crocodile Brigade.
The sound of Andy's battle cry struck terror thro' the foe.
His foot was on the desert and his name was McElroe.
At least that's what the letter said that came across the foam.
To Andy's anxious relatives awaiting him at home.
The papers say he ran away before he met the foe.
But that was quite unlike the style of Andy McElroe.

One morning brave Lord Wolseley for a battle felt inclined;
But all could see the general had something on his mind;
Sez he, 'My staff, 'twere dangerous to face yon deadly foe,
Unless we're sure that quite prepared is Andy McElroe.'
Then Andy cried, 'I'm here, my lord, and ready for the fray,'
'Advance then,' cried Lord Wolseley, 'and let every trumpet bray.'

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Abdul Abulbul Amir

The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah,
Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
For Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
In the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun
And donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

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