Lament Of The Irish Emigrant (Lady Blackwood Dufferin)

See also: I'm Sitting On The Stile, Mary (Kenneth Peacock)
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I'm sittin' on the stile, Mary,
where we sat side by side,
On a bright May mornin' long ago
when first you were my bride;
The corn was springin' fresh and green,
and the lark sang loud and high,
And the red was on your lip, Mary,
and the love-light in your eye.

The place is little changed,
Mary, the day is bright as then,
The lark's loud song is in my ear,
and the corn is green again;
But I miss the soft clasp of your hand
and your breath warm on my cheek,
And I still keep list'nin' for
the words you nevermore will speak.

'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
and the little church stands near,
The church where we were wed,
Mary, I see the spire from here;
But the graveyard lies between, Mary,
and my step might break your rest,
For I've laid you, darling, down to sleep
with your baby on your breast.

I'm very lonely now, Mary,
for the poor make no new friends,
But, O, they love the better still
the few our Father sends!
And you were all I had, Mary,
my blessin' and my pride,
There's nothing left to care for now,
since my poor Mary died.

Yours was the good, brave heart,
Mary, that still kept hoping on,
When the trust in God had left my soul,
and my arm's young strength was gone;
There was comfort ever on your lip,
and the kind look on your brow,
I bless you, Mary, for that same,
though you cannot hear me now.

I thank you for the patient smile
when your heart was fit to break;
When the hunger pain was gnawin' there,
and you hid it for my sake;
I bless you for the pleasant word
when your heart was sad and sore,
O, I'm thankful that you're gone,
Mary, where grief can't reach you more!

I'm biddin' you a long farewell,
my Mary - kind and true!
But I'll not forget you, darling,
in the land I'm goin' to;
They say there's bread and work for all,
and the sun shines always there,
But I'll not forget old Ireland
were it fifty times as fair!

And often in those grand old woods
I'll sit and shut my eyes,
And my heart will travel back again
to the place where Mary lies;
And I'll think I see the little stile
where we sat side by side,
And the springin' corn, and the bright May morn
when first you were my bride.

####.... Lady Helena Selina Blackwood Dufferin [1807-1867]. Published in an early 19th-century British broadside ....####
An abbreviated variant was collected in 1952 from James and Lucy Heaney of Stock Cove, NL, and from Nocolas Keough of Parson's Pond, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as I'm Sitting On The Stile, Mary in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.462-464, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Another abbreviated variant was sung by Joe Casey of Merasheen, NL, during the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL, and published as Sitting On The Stile, Mary by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL.


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