I’m simply surrounded by lovers,

Since Da made his fortune in land;

They’re comin’ in crowds like the plovers

To ax for me hand.

There’s clerks and policemen and teachers,

Some sandy, some black as a crow;

Ma says ye get used to the creatures,

But, ach, I dunno!

The convent is in a commotion

To think of me taking a spouse,

And they wonder I hadn’t the notion

Of taking the vows.

‘Tis a beautiful life and a quiet,

And keeps ye from going below,

As a girl I thought I might try it,

But, ach I dunno!

I’ve none but meself to look after,

An’ marriage it fills me with fears,

I think I’d have less of the laughter

And more of the tears.

I’ll not be a slave like me mother,

With six of us all in a row,

Even one little baby’s a bother,

But, ach, I dunno!

There’s a lad that has taken me fancy,

I know he’s a right bit of limb,

And though marriage is terrible Clancy,

I’d-chance it with him.

He’s coming to-night –oh- I tingle,

From the top of me head to me toe,

I’ll tell him I’d rather live single,

But, ach, I dunno!

(by kind permission of Messrs, Pigott & Co., Ltd.)

French, Percy. (1980) ‘Prose, Poems & Parodies.’  Dublin, Helicon Limited