When first I came to county lim'rick there I was stationed at sweet Rathkeale,
There I fell courting a handsome fair maid, she appeared to me like the Queen of May.
I asked her kindly would she marry, or would she be a soldiers's wife,
"Oh no, kind sir, I would rather tarry, for I do choose a brave single life.
Oh, fairest creature and pride of nature, why do you differ from all female kind?
Because you're the gentle and young and handsome to marry, love, I am inclined.
For you're the fairest of Irish maidens, and you are fit, love, to be a queen;
I wish I was in some battle wounded before your beautiful face I'd seen.
I wish I had you in Phoenix Island one hundred miles from your native home.
Or in some alley where no one would find us, you might incline, love, to be my own.
'Tis there I'd cherish you, my loving jewel, if along with me you might incline to go;
I'd sail you over to Pennsylvanie(?), bid adieu to old Ireland for ever-more.
In the morning when I cannot see you, my heart lies bleeding for you all day;
And in the evening when I can't be near you - but those who are bound, love, they must obey.
Youth and folly make young men marry, so now no longer, love, can I stay;
What can't be cured must be endured; so farewell, darling, I must away.
[Handwritten note lower right: "cf Joyce(?) 233"]