As I strayed o’er the common on Cork’s rugged border,
While the dewdrops of morn the sweet primrose arrayed ;
I saw a poor female whose mental disorder,
Her quick glancing eye and wild aspect betrayed.
On the sward she reclined, by the green fern surrounded,
At her side speckled daisies and wild flowers abounded ;
To its inmost recesses, her heart had been wounded,
Her sighs were unceasing, ’twas Mary Le More.
Her charms by the keen blasts of sorrow had faded,
Yet the soft tinge of beauty still played on her cheek ;
Her tresses a wreath of primroses braided,
And strings of fresh daisies hung loose on her neck.
While with pity I gazed, she exclaimed “O, my mother!
See the blood on the lash! ’tis the blood of my brother –
They have torn his poor flesh! and they now strip another –
‘Tis Connor – the friend of poor Mary Le More.”
Though his locks were as white as the foam on the ocean,
Those wretches shall find that my father is brave;
“My father!” she cried, with the wildest emotion,
Ah, no! my poor father now sleeps in his grave.
They have tolled his death bell, they’ve laid the turf o’er him,
His white locks were bloody, no aid would restore him ;
He is gone! he is gone! and the good will deplore him,
When the blue waves of Erin hide Mary Le More.
A lark from the gold blossomed furze that grew near her,
Now rose and with energy carolled his lay ;
“Hush! Hush!” she continued, “the trumpet sounds clearer,
the horsemen approach! Erin’s daughters away!
Ah! soldiers, ’twas foul, while the cabin was burning,
And o’er a pale father a wretch had been mourning –
Go hide with the seamew, ye maids and take warning,
Those ruffians have ruined poor Mary Le More.
“Away! Bring the ointment – O God! See the gashes!
Alas! my poor brother, come dry my big tear!
Anon we’ll have vengeance for those dreadful lashes,
Already the screechowl and raven appear.
By day the green grave that lies under the willow,
With wild flowers I’ll strew and by night make my pillow,
‘Till the ooze and dark seaweed beneath the curled billow
Shall furnish a deathbed for Mary Le More”
There raved the poor maniac, in tones more heart-rending,
Than sanity’s voice over poured in my ear.
When lo! on the waste, and on the march towards her bending,
A troop of fierce cavalry chanced to appear.
Oh! the fiends! she exclaimed, and with wild horror started,
Then through the tall fern, loudly screaming she darted ;
With an over-charged bosom I slowly departed,
And sighed for the wrongs of poor Mary Le More.
Written by George Nugent Reynolds.