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To win your eyes, to woo your touch,
By thee selected from the rest;
Tá reáoth-bhachkill bhuídhe-chásdá, fhior-dhea̸sa Air scáile An óir, A's ríghin-dhea̸rcA, K's mín-zhla̸ca, cíor-thána Cnáimh 'n beól,
'Gur grís-leaca, píob-shneachdá, cíoch-chailce
Aici, bláthnáid óg,
Théibh-thana mín-ghea̸la̸, Kir lí eala
Go tráchtá bróg.
Adown her back in curls are roll'd,
Such is my lovely maid:
Like kindling flame her blushing cheek,
Blanaid was a celebrated Irish beauty of antiquity. For her interesting history, and tragical end, see our Irish Herodotus, Keating.
The air of Molly Astore, is one of the most popular in these islands. Burns called it “ a heavenly air.” Although it has been more fortunate than most of our native strains, in meeting with English words, yet it is confidently hoped, that its original Irish stanzas will be found no way inferior to any of those, with which it has been hitherto associated in English.
General Vallancey, one of the few Englishmen, whose memory ought to be dear to the Irish, was so delighted with the music of Molly Astore, that, in his enthusiasm, he very gravely undertook the derivation of the name, and traced it to the most remote antiquity. He tell us, from Diodorus Siculus, that Bel or Baal was the Jupiter of the east, whose wife, the Juno of the latter, was Astarte ; and that these
were, Irish Beal and Astore-th, the latter pronounced Astore.” Mr. Trotter tells us, that the song was composed “ at the period of Cormac Mac Con, a century before Christianity.” Again, he says, “ It is with some probability, supposed to have been addressed to Astoreth, called in Irish, Astore, the Venus of the Phænicians.” Vallancey was perfectly serious, but Trotter could hardly have been so; particularly, as he soon after adds, “It is evidently, however, the production of the purest era of Irish song, as it has the general character of its sweet and touching melody.”
English verses have been frequently written to this air. The late George Ogle, member of parliament for Wexford, was
author of a pleasing song, beginning, "As down by Banna's banks I strayed," whose principal charm lies in the Irish termination of each stanza:
Our celebrated countryman, Sheridan, also wrote to this air, the sweet little song in the Duenna, "Had I a heart for falsehood framed," The sentiments of "How oft Louisa," in the same comedy, are said to have been borrowed from another Irish song, beginning with the following stanza :
A Anná chkom Kelkide mhin tsukire,
A puin mo chleibh, ná deún ni dukire
"The Plains of Nair."-In the county of Meath there is a lake, which was anciently known by this name. In it was drowned Turgesius, the Danish Tyrant, by Maolseachlan King of Meath, A. D. 844.-See Annals of Ulster.
Catherine Tyrrell, was a member of the ancient and respectable family of that name, formerly residing at the Pace, (Tyrrell's Pass) in the county of Westmeath. The lake, called in the original "Erril" is probably a mistake for
Ennil," one of the most extensive and beautiful of the numerous fine lakes in that county.
The fair object of this popular and favorite song has been celebrated in other poetical effusions. Of one of these the following is a fragment:
'Y truágh gheur gán me-si Kzus Catáilín T’píall, 'p suidhe no 'n-a̸r seása̸dh, ag geátáibh bh’la’-clíáth An oidhche bheith Kguinn chomh fa̸da̸ re blía̸in, A's me sínte Kir lea̸bá le Kinnfir ná g-ciábh.
Few of our national airs are better known than " Youghal Harbour," which bears a strong resemblance to "Caithlin Tirriall." The original words of that favorite rustic ballad, have been thought worthy of preservation; with that view they are here inserted :
Maidin domhnaich A's mé ag dul go h-Eócháill,
'Y ba bhinne « béilín 'ná ceóltá fíghe :— leáz mé lámh Air A brágha̸id le fórsa̸,
Agus d'iarr mé póízín Kir stór mo chroídhe, 's é dúbhkirt sí, “ stád A's na̸ stróic mo chloicín, Y ní'l fios mo dhóla̸is Ag neách 's An t-sKóízheal.”
Hi'l Achd uair bhea̸g ó d'fha̸ig me-si Eocháill,
A's dúbhkirt mo stór liom zán filleadh Krís ;– 'S gur chilín scoithte me tá Kg súbhhl An bhótháir, Ag iárradh an eóláis go Ceápádh-Chóínn ;—
'n Kimhdheóin « n-gekllann tú de gch uile shórt Okmh,
Ní ghnídhim de S' ghlórthKıbh Kcht cómhrádh b«oír' A's Sá sekoilfeá bhxile mé gán fiúdh na m-brózí,
Fuárás cómhairle gán do leanamháin choidhche.
23 so mo lámh Shuit nach bh-fuilim pósta,
'Y gup buachaill óz me thug gekn do mhnaoí; Y dá n-glukispeá liom-s« «ir d-tús go h-Cóchaill,
Oar leám, d'ar n-dóich! budh leat lóistín oidhche :Chuirfinn high cául cấp ort, a -ceárt ’r g-cóir,
Gúnadh, clóck vgus caipirinn,
U's bấıbín óg do bheith «g diúl do clíoch.
The air of this song is, by many, esteemed the finest in the whole circle of Irish music. It is much older than the words of our text, which have been attributed to Maurice O'Dugan, an Irish bard, who lived near Benburb, in the county of Tyrone, about the year 1641. There are several sweet stanzas in Irish to this charming air, but the present are the best known, and most popular. “ Coolin” means, the maiden of fair flowing locks, but the original word is retained in the translation, being now, as it were, naturalized in English. The following is the first stanza of a spirited version of this song, made by our learned and talented countryman, the late Mr. Clinch, in the year 1792 :