BETA

IRISH BALLAD.

COLLEEN OGE ASTORE.

Air: “ Callino Casturame.”

[Note.— “ It is evidently to this tune that Shakespeare alludes in the play of Henry the Fifth, Act iv., Scene 4, where
Pistol on meeting a French soldier exclaims, ‘ Quality ! Calen o custure me.’ In the folio we find ‘ Calline custure me,’
which has been turned, in the modern editions, into ‘ Call you me ?  Construe me.’ Malone found among ‘ Sundry new
Sonets in a Handefull of Pleasant Delites,’ 1584, a sonnet of a lover in praise of his lady, to ‘ Galen o custure me,’—sung at
every line’s end. In Mr. Lover’s ‘ Lyrics of Ireland,’ he notices the resemblance of the first word to the name ‘ Caillino,’
speaking of Mrs. Fitzsimon’s beautiful poem, ‘ The Woods of Caillino;’ and adds, ‘ Mr. Boswell, in his edition of
Shakespeare, says that Mr. Finnegan, Master of the school established in London for the education of the Irish, says the
words mean, “ Little Girl of my heart, for ever and ever.”’ Now this is not the meaning, and I cannot but wonder that, with
so much literary discussion as has taken place on the subject, the true spelling, and consequently the meaning of the burden,
have remained till now undiscovered. The burden, as given in the ‘ Handefull of Pleasant Delites,’ and copied by Malone, is
Calen o custure me,’ which is an attempt to spell, and pretty nearly represents the sound of ‘ Colleen oge astore,’ and these
words mean, ‘ Young Girl, my Treasure’.”—Stokes’s “ Life of Petrie,” page 431, quoted by Hoffmann in his “ Ancient Music
of Ireland.”] This air is taken from Queen Elizabeth’s “ Virginal Book.” It has already been published by Mr. W. Chappell,
in his work on “ Popular Music of the Olden Time,” and is reprinted in Hoffmann’s Collection by his permission.
When I marched away to war,1
How you kissed me o’er and o’er,2
Weeping, pressed me,3
Sobbing, blessed me,4
Colleen, Colleen oge astore !5
I was wounded, wounded sore,6
Dead your father falsely swore ;7
Set to harry8
You to marry9
One with miser gold in store.10
Ah ! but when you dreamed me dead,11
Forth you flew a wildered maid ;12
Ever grieving,13
Ever weaving14
Willow, willow for your head.15
Nay ! he lives,” your mother said ;16
But you only shook your head.17
Why deceive me ?18
Ah ! believe me,19
Mother, mother, he is dead ! ”20
So you pined, and pined away,21
Till, when in the winter grey,22
Home I hasted,23
Wan and wasted,24
Colleen, Colleen oge, you lay.25
’ Tis his lonesome ghost,” you said,26
Come to call me to the dead.”27
Nay ; discover28
Your dear lover29
Longing now at last to wed.30
Then your cheek, so pale before,31
With the rose of hope once more32
Faintly, slowly,33
Brightly, wholly,34
Blossomed, Colleen oge astore.35
Till upon the chapel floor,36
Side by side we knelt and swore37
Duty dearest,38
Love sincerest,39
Colleen, Colleen oge astore.40