Southport Visiter, 1853



Oh! Why did you go when the flowers were springing,

And winter’s wild tempest had vanished away,

When the swallow was come, and the sweet lark was singing,

From the morn to the eve of the beautiful day?

Oh! Why did you go when the summer was coming,

And the heaven was blue as your own sunny eye;

When the bee on the blossom was drowsily humming-

Mavourneen! Mavourneen! Oh, why did you die?


My hot tears are falling in agony o’er you,

My heart was bound up in the life that is gone;

Oh! Why did you go from the mother that bore you,

Achora, macushla! Why leave me alone?

The primrose each hedgerow and dingle is studding;

The violet’s breath is on each breezes sigh,

And the woodbine you loved round your window is budding-

Oh! Maura, mavourneen! Why, did you die?


The harebell is missing your step on the mountain,

The sweetbriar droops from the hand that it loved,

And the hazel’s pale tassels hang over the fountain

That springs in the cops where so often you roved.

The hawthorn’s pearls fall as though they are weeping

Upon the low grave where your cold form doth lie,

And the soft dews of evening there longest lie sleeping-

Mavourneen! Mavourneen! Oh! Why did you die?


The meadows are white with the low daisy’s flower,

And the long grass bends glistening like waves in the sun;

And from his green nest, in the ivy grown tower,

The sweet robin sings till the long day is done,

Oh, on to the sea, the bright river is flowing,

There is not a stain in the vault of the sky;

But the flow’rs on your grave in their radiance are glowing-

Your eyes cannot see them. Oh 1 why did you die?


Mavourneen, I was not alone in my sorrow,

But he whom you loved has soon followed his bride;

His young heart COULD break with his grief, and tomorrow

They’ll lay him to rest in the grave by your side.

My darling, my darling the judgment alighted

Upon the young branches, the blooming and fair.

But the dry leafless stem which the lightning hath blighted

Stands lonely and dark in the sweet summer air.


When the bright silent stars through my window beaming

I dream in my madness that your by my side,

With your long golden curls on your white shoulders streaming

And the smile that came warm from your loving heart’s tide;

I hear your sweet voice fitful melodies singing;

I wake but to hear the low wind’s whispered sigh,

And your vanishing tones through my silent home ringing’

As I cry in my anguish - Oh! Why did you die?


Achora, machree, you are ever before me-

I scarce see the heaven to which you are gone,

So dark are the clouds of despair which lie o’er me.

Oh! Pray for me! pray at the Mighty One’s throne!

Oh! Plead that the chain of my bondage may sever,

That to thee and my Father my freed soul may fly,

Or the cry of my spirit for ever and ever

Shall be - “Oh, mavourneen! Why, did you die?”

From the Dublin University Magazine for May.


Copyright 2002 / To date