Poems

O'grady's Little Girl

Her hair was dark and curly, floatin' to the saddle bow,
Her laugh was frank and girlish, and her voice was sweet and low;
When I was one-and-twenty, sure my heart was in a whirl,
Ridin' neath the blossomed gum-trees with O'Grady's little girl.

And ah! The dear grey eyes of her all truth and purity
What a beacon-light to goodness, such a colleen's eyes can be!
The blazed a track to Heaven for me an' it struck me like a blow
When O'Grady left the township, just twenty years ago.

In those years I've grown and prospered-sure the township's half me own-
But my heart's been empty-aching-since she left me all alone.
Now we've got a 'Back-to-She-Oak' week, celebratin' royally,
And Nora's coming home again, to join the revelry.

I'll know her by here wild-rose face, her floatin' curling hair,
By the neat black skirt and frilly blouse she always loved to wear,
I've never looked at wimmin since, but at the township ball
I'll tell her all my faithful love-my hopes, and dreams and all.

Oh! the band is playing gaily, but alone I sit apart,
Watching all the merry dancers, with a sore and aching heart;
Gaily old friends greet each other, but my head is in a whirl,
As I watcher her twirling past me-Dan O'Grady's little girl.

She's grown stout-she's got a shingle-and her skirt's just on her knee
Sure the girl that I remember's not the girl she used to be,
And the merry lilting music ringing out into the night,
Seems to mock my dying fancies and my dream of lost delight.

Now the band is playing softly-'tis the waltz we used to know,
And I'll have to ask her for it, for the sake of long ago,
But ah! The dear grey eyes of her, uplifted now to me,
And the unchanged heart beneath them, full of truth and purity.

'Tis a woman's heart that matters, fashions come and fashions go,
And what signifies a shingle, for a shingle sure can grow,
All my lonely years are over, I'm as happy as an earl,
Looking forward to the future with O'Grady's little girl.



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