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A Ballad of Galway – 1908

The intermountain Catholic, 29th February, 1908 p6

Photo: EO'D

Photo: EO’D

A Ballad of Galway
The market place is all astir,
The sombre streets are grey.
And lo! a stately galleon
Lies anchored in the bay
The colleens shy, and sturdy lads,
Are swiftly trooping down,
To greet the Spanish sailors,
On the quay of Galway town.

But Nora, golden Nora
What matters it to you?
There’s joy, long time a stranger,
In those gentle eyes of blue;
And wherefore deck your ringlets,
And don your silken gown.
For a crew of Spanish sailors,
That stride through Galway town.

Said Nora, golden Nora,
And her laughter held a tear.
I don my gown and laces
Because my love is near,
Among the Spanish crew is one
Should wear a kingly crown,
Although he walks a landless man,
Today through Galway town.

“Look forth! see yon his dusky head
Tower high above the throng.
Oh, brave is he, and true is he,
And so my lips have song.
For he’s no Spanish sailor.
Though he wears the jerkin brown,
But Murrough Og O’Flaherty.
Come back to Galway town.

He fought in Spain’s red sieges,
And he held a captain’s place,
Ah! would his arm were raised to strike
In battles of his race!
But his boyhood saw with bitter grief
Iar-Connacht lose renown.
When the Saxon crushed his valiant clan
In the streets of Galway town.

Tonight will be our wedding
With a holy priest to bless,
Shall we remember Cromwell’s law
Amid such happiness?
While my true love’s arm is round me.
Should they come with fighting frown,
His sword shall cleave a pathway
For his bride through Galway town.”

Then up the street stepped Murrough
And down stepped Nora Ban.
Had ever sailor fairer love,
Sweet, sweet as summer dawn?
Their glad lips clung together,
Such bliss old grief dost drown;
God guard the faithful lovers,”
Prayed we in Galway town.

Oh, far across the water
The gold ship’s speeding now,
And Murrough Og O’Flaherty
Stands tall beside the prow;
And Nora, golden Nora,
A bride in silken gown,
Hath sailed away forever
From her kin in Galway town.

Ethna Carberry in the Catholic press, Sydney, Australia.

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