Boating On Lough Ree (For Máirín)
John Keegan Casey (1816-1849), From 'Amatory Poems'.
Guitar and Harmonica: Garry O'Briain
Mary Hanley came from The Black Island off Lough Ree on the River Shannon. John Keegan Casey was teaching in Newtowncashel, County Longford when he was eighteeen years and went boating every Sunday with the Costello family. On one of these outings he met and fell in love with Mary. The love affair was short-lived, however, as Mary was drowned in a boating accident on the lake and the poet penned this gentle lament. My thanks to Áine Meenaghan, Maighréad Casey and Michael Casey.
I am now sad and lonely all in the distant west.
The happy scenes of bygone days at night disturb my rest.
For in this faithful heart of mine forgotten it never can be,
Those days I spent with my Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree.
she was young and so beautiful, she was gentle as a fawn.
Her eyes they shone like diamonds bright or the stars at early dawn.
Her smiles she had for everyone but her kisses were all for me,
And entranced I gazed on my Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree.
she pledged herself to be my bride, how happy then was I.
How dulcet were the joys of love how quickly they flew by.
But Heaven's own light shone in her eyes she was too good for me
And an angel claimed her for his own and he took her from Lough Ree.
have crossed through many's the thorny path my hair's a silvery hue.
Yet her thrilling voice speaks to my heart in tones I can't subdue.
Her comely form still haunts my mind her pleasing face I see,
It's the blushing face of Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree.
it leaves me sad and so lonely now in this far distant west.
The happy scenes of bygone days at night disturb my rest;
For in this faithful heart of mine forgotten it never can be
The days I spent with my Mary Bán a- boating on Lough