Old Moore’s Almanac
Prize charade by Patrick Tunney.
Life ebbed with joy when I was a boy ‘mid the vales of fair Mayo,
When first I sighed for the light of Right, for freedom’s reddening glow,
I was hunted Ireland up and down, ahiding here and there,
‘Til Cupid’s dart enchained my heart for Flora from Belclare.
When first I met Flora acrossing o’er the lea,
Her eyes were beaming brightly, as she coyly greeted me;
“If you’re on your keeping, boy, of our comforts you can share,
You’d be welcome to my father’s home,” ses Flora from Belclare.
Being quite amazed I quietly gazed, my travelling tales I told,
Saying “I am but an outlawed boy, I’ve neither wealth nor gold;
My heart and hand is at your command, my love with you I’d share,
On the bleak hillside, if you were my bride, loved Flora from Belclare.”
As I pressed her tender hand beneath the azure skies,
And glanced into her winsome face the tears bedewed her eyes,
“As you are a rebel boy, just now I will prepare,
And if you’ll be true, I’ll go with you” ses Flora from Belclare.
We then went to the Soggarth’s home where truths I did unfold,
‘Bout blighted years, ‘bout hovering fears and the days when I was bold,
My fondest wish in bonds he sealed with a calm absolving prayer,
And at my right side he blessed my bride, loved Flora from Belclare.
A cottage neat we then secured, down by a placid stream,
Where sunshine lit the paths of peace as blissful as a dream;
And as free from grief as the linnet’s song is free from the throes of care,
No greater heart e’er breathed in life than Flora from Belclare.
Til the wily Tans with wily bans our humble home laid low,
When in a strongly armoured car with them I had to go;
While Flora wept on the bleak roadside enshrouded in despair,
Oh! my memory’s green of that parting scene of Flora from Belclare.
For a time in grief she pined and in sorrow found a place,
Within hallowed churchyard in death’s long cold embrace;
And when I heard the tidings sad in the Curragh of Kildare,
My heart could break for her dear sake, loved Flora from Belclare.
I have travelled far and wide through the intervening years,
But ne’er could find a friend so kind in this lone vale of tears,
By Antrim’s hills and Nephin’s rills I have often knelt in prayer,
For the calm repose of my Irish Rose, loved Flora from Belclare.