'Lament of the Irish Emigrant'
A poem by Helen Selina, Lady Dufferin. 1807-1867
I'm sitting on the stile, Mary, where we once sat side by side
On a bright May morning long ago, when first you were my bride
The corn was springing fresh and green, and the lark sang loud and high
And the red was on your lips, Mary, and the love light in your eyes.
‘Tis but a step down yonder lane, the village Church stands near
The place where we were wed, Mary, I can see the spire from here
But the graveyard lies between, Mary, and my step might break your rest
Where I laid you, darling, down to sleep with a baby on your breast.
I'm very lonely now, Mary, for the poor make no new friends
But oh they love the better still the few our Father sends
For you were all I had, Mary, my blessing and my pride
And I've 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 arms' young strength had gone
There was comfort ever on your lip and a kind look on your brow
And I thank you, Mary, for the same, though you cannot hear me now.
I'm bidding you a long farewell, my Mary, kind and true
But I'll not forget you, darling, in the land I'm going to.
They say there's bread and work for all, and the sun shines always there
But I'll ne'er 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 wander back again to the place where Mary lies
And I think I'll see that little stile where we sat side by side
In the springing corn and the bright May morn when first you were my bride.