The sad sobs of a fair maiden drew me to her side
As she sat on a rock by Clew Bay’s lapping side
I sat down beside her and asked her the cause of her pain
As hot tears on her cheeks ran down like falling rain.
My sad lamentation is for my love gone away
Not by choice but by cruel transportation she sadly did say
My dear Patrick was brave and strong and gentle as a summer breeze
But mobhrón mo bhrón in his strong arms I’ll ne’er again be.
Patrick O’Aogan my lost one was as graceful as an eagle in flight
As he danced jigs and reels and hurled the ball in full flight
He could snatch a salmon or trout from a flowing pool
Sure none was his equal from Westport to Iarúil
But my curse on the day the fateful news reached this way
That the French fleet had landed in broad Killala Bay
My brave Patrick then vowed that with them he’d throw in his lot
And bade slán agus beannacht to kind neighbours in Kinnock.
Towards Castlebar Town his comrades and Patrick made way
And on route they called in on Squire Brown near Westport Quay
“Soap the Rope” he had fled though they hadn’t intended him harm
But they captured Westport with the aid of his store of firearms.
But it’s many a seed that fails to yield a fruit
And soon the tide turned and the rebels were being pursued
Arrested and tried, my brave Patrick and his fellow rebel Gael
Were cruelly transported to cursed New South Wales.
Oh never again will I see his laghing face
Or be kissed by his warm lips beside my parent’s gate
It could grieve me no more if beneath the green sod he lay
By Kilgeever’s ruined abbey where o’er him I’d kneel and pray.
©Michael O’ Grady