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The Cailín Ruadh

This is a fairly typical example of the schoolmaster type of ballad which was extremely popular towards the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. The assonance and internal rhyme spring directly from the Gaelic poetry with which the writer would have been familiar, and the classical allusions were intended primarily to impress the neighbours.

As I walked out one Summer's evening, a-speculating most curiously
To my surprise I soon espied a charming fair one approaching me,
I stood awhile in deep meditation contemplating what I should do,
Till at length recruiting all my sensations I thus accosted the The Cailín Ruadh

Are you Aurora, or the goddess Floral Artimidora or Venus bright,
Or Helen fair beyond compare whom Paris stole from the Grecian sight?
Oh, fairest creature you have enslaved me; I'm intoxicated with Cupid's clew,
Your golden sayings are infatuations that have ensnared me 0 The Cailín Ruadh

Kind sire, be easy and do not tease me, with your false praises most jestingly,
Your dissimulations and invocations are vaunting praises alluring me,
I'm not Aurora or the goddess Floral but a rural female unto all men's view,
That's here condoling her situation, my appelation is the The Cailín Ruadh

Oh, were I Hector, that noble victor who died a victim to Grecian skill,
Or were I Paris whose deeds are various, an arbitrator on Ida's hill
I'd range through Asia, likewise Arabia, Pennsylvania seeking for you,
The burning regions like sage Orpheus to see your face my sweet Cailín Ruadh

(Pron. Coleen Roo)