The Irish Convict’s Return

Ye mountains and glens of Old Ireland,
I’ve returned home to ye again;
During my absence from ye
My heart always felt great pain.

Oh, how I long’d to see you dear Nora,
And the old folks at home;
And the beautiful Lakes o’ Killarney,
Where we oft together did roam.

Ye beautiful Lakes of Killarney,
Ye are welcome to me again;
I will now reform my character,
And from all bad company refrain.

Oh, how I have long’d to see my old father
And my mother dearer than all;
And my favourite dog Charlie
That wont to come at my call.

Ye green hills and lakes of Old Ireland,
Ye are dearer than life unto me;
Many sleepless nights I have had
Since my banishment from thee.

But to-night I will see the old folks
And my dear Nora too …
And she and I will get married,
And I’m sure we will never rue.

And we may have plenty of children,
And for them I will work like a man.
And I hope Nora and I will live happy,
And do the best we can.

For my own part, I will never grumble,
But try and be content …
And walk in the paths of virtue,
And remember my banishment.

And at night at the fireside with Nora,
I will tell her of my limbs being bound,
And all my great hardships endured,
And how I was lash’d like a hound.

And when my story is ended,
Nora will sympathise with her tears,
Which will help to drown my sorrow,
And help me through coming years.

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Comments (3) »

  1. Angie
    In the year 2013, on the 26th day of October at 12:30 am

    Oh dear! Not only awful but somehow charmless. I wonder what he did to become a convict? Maybe he killed his first wife, in which case, watch out Nora! Mind you, he couldn’t have been away for long if his favourite dog Charlie is still alive…

  2. Stephen Midgley
    In the year 2013, on the 26th day of October at 12:02 pm

    Yes, I’ve also sometimes wondered why the Irish convict was in jail. Perhaps he was wrongfully imprisoned – for, historically, haven’t the Irish been unfairly oppressed and often punished for crimes they didn’t commit? However, I can’t help thinking his offence was less dastardly than the one you suggest – the third verse implies it was something he did as a result of falling in with a bunch of bad characters: burglary, banditry, vandalism, public affray? Perhaps someone could clear up the mystery by writing a McGonagallesque prequel: the Irishman’s Crime/Trial/Downfall or some such?

  3. Chris Hunt
    In the year 2013, on the 27th day of October at 11:51 pm

    Maybe he was jailed for being the victim of assault and battery by a jealous Dubliner?

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