Moira O'Neill: The Grand Match

Dennis was hearty when Dennis was young,
High was his step in the jig that he sprung,
He had the looks an’ the sootherin’ tongue—
  An’ he wanted a girl wid a fortune.
Nannie was grey-eyed an’ Nannie was tall,        5
Fair was the face hid inunder her shawl,
Troth! an’ he liked her the best o’ them all—
  But she’d not a traneen to her fortune.
He be to look out for a likelier match,
So he married a girl that was counted a catch,        10
An’ as ugly as need be, the dark little patch—
  But that was a trifle, he told her.
She brought him her good-lookin’ gold to admire,
She brought him her good-lookin’ cows to his byre,
But far from good-lookin’ she sat by his fire—        15
  An’ paid him that ‘thrifle’ he tould her.
He met pretty Nan when a month had gone by,
An’ he thought, like a fool, to get round her he’d try;
Wid a smile on her lip an’ a spark in her eye,
  She said, ‘How is the woman that owns ye?’        20
Och, never be tellin’ the life that he ’s led!
Sure, many ’s the night that he’ll wish himself dead,
For the sake of two eyes in a pretty girl’s head,—
  An’ the tongue of the woman that owns him.

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