THE EMIGRANT’S LETTER
I’m takin’ the pen in me hand
To tell you we’re just out o’ sight o’ land;
In the grand Allan liner we’re sailin’ in style,
But we’re sailin’ away from the Emerald Isle;
And a long sort o’ sigh seemed to rise from us all
As the waves hid the last bit of Donegal.
Och! it’s well to be you that is takin’ yer tay.
Where they’re cuttin’ corn in Creeshla the day.
I spoke to the captain-he won’t turn her round,
And if I swum back I’d be apt to be drowned,
So here I must stay-oh! I’ve no cause to fret,
For their dinner was what you might call a banquet.
But though it is ‘sumpchus,’ I’d swop the whole lot,
For the ould wooden spoon and the stirabout pot;
And sweet Katty Farrell a-wettin’ the tay
Where they’re cuttin’ the corn in Creeshla the day!
If Katey is courted by Patsey or Mick,
Put a word in for me with a lump of stick,
Don’t kill Patsey outright, he has no sort of chance,
But Mickey’s a rogue you might murder at wance;
For Katey might think as the longer she waits
A boy in the hand is worth two in the States:
And she’ll promise to honour, to love and obey
Some robber that’s roamin’ round Creeshla the day.
Goodbye to you Dan, there’s no more to be said,
And I think the salt wather’s got to me head,
For it dreeps from me eyes when I call to me mind,
The friends and the colleen I’m leavin’ behind;
Oh, Danny, she’ll wait; whin I bid her good-bye,
There was just the laste taste of a tear in her eye,
And a break in her voice whin she said “You might stay,
But plaze God you’ll come back to ould Creeshla some day.”
(by kind permission of Messrs, Pigott & Co., Ltd.)
French, Percy. (1980) ‘Prose, Poems & Parodies.’ Dublin, Helicon Limited