The Humours of Donnybrook Fair

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To Donnybrook steer, all you sons of Parnassus –
Poor painters, poor poets, poor newsmen, and knaves,
To see what the fun is, that all fun surpasses –
The sorrow and sadness of green Erin’s slaves.
Oh, Donnybrook, jewel! full of mirth is your quiver,
Where all flock from Dublin to gape and to stare
At two elegant bridges, without e’er a river:
So, success to the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

O you lads that are witty, from famed Dublin city,
And you that in pastime take any delight,
To Donnybrook fly, for the time’s drawing nigh
When fat pigs are hunted, and lean cobblers fight;
When maidens, so swift, run for a new shift;
Men, muffled in sacks, for a shirt they race there;
There jockeys well booted, and horses sure-footed,
All keep up the humours of Donnybrook Fair.

The mason does come, with his line and his plumb;
The sawyer and carpenter, brothers in chips;
There are carvers and gilders, and all sort of builders,
With soldiers from barracks and sailors from ships.
There confectioners, cooks, and printers of books,
There stampers of linen, and weavers, repair;
There widows and maids, and all sort of trades,
Go join in the humours of Donnybrook Fair.

There tinkers and nailers, and beggars and tailors,
And singers of ballads, and girls of the sieve;
With Barrack Street rangers, the known ones and strangers,
And many that no one can tell how they live:
There horsemen and walkers, and likewise fruit-hawkers,
And swindlers, the devil himself that would dare,
With pipers and fiddlers, and dandies and diddlers –
All meet in the humours of Donnybrook Fair.

‘Tis there are dogs dancing, and wild beasts a-prancing,
With neat bits of painting in red, yellow, and gold;
Toss-players and scramblers, and showmen and gamblers,
Pick-pockets in plenty, both of young and of old.
There are brewers, and bakers and jolly shoemakers,
With butchers, and porters, and men that cut hair;
There are mountebanks grinning, while others are sinning,
To keep up the humours of Donnybrook Fair.

Brisk lads and young lasses can there fill their glasses
With whisky, and send a full bumper around;
Jig it off in a tent till their money’s all spent,
And spin like a top till they rest on the ground.
Oh, Donnybrook capers, to sweet catgut-scrapers,
They bother the vapours, and drive away care;
And what is more glorious – there’s naught more upproarious –
Huzza for the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

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