Faber and Faber (London: 1939) II.4§3

First edition, first printing (details)

Hear, O hear, Iseult la belleº! Tristan, sad hero, hear!º Theº Lambeg drum, the Lombog reed, the Lumbag fiferer, theº Limibigº brazenaze.º

º Anno Domini nostri sancti Jesu Christiº

Nine hundred and ninetynine million pound sterlingº in the blueblack bowels of the bank of Ulster.

Braw bawbees and good gold pounds,º galore,º my girleen, a Sunday'llº prank thee finely.º
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And no damn loutllº come courting thee or by the mother of the Holy Ghost there'llº be murder!

O,º come all ye sweet nymphs of Dingle beach to cheer Brinabride queen from Sybil surfridingº

In her curragh of shells of daughter of pearl and her silverymonnblueº mantle round her.

Crown of the waters,º brine on her brow,º she'llº dance them a jig and jilt them fairly.

Yerra,º why would she bide with Sig Sloomysidesº or the grogramº grey barnacle gander?

You won't need be lonesome,º Lizzy my love,º when your beauº gets his glut of cold meat and hosº soldiering

Nor wake in winter,º windowº machree,º but snore sungº in my old Balbriggan surtout.º

Wisha,º won't you agree now to take me from the middle, say,º of next week on,º for the balance of my days,º for nothingº (what?) as your own nursetender?

A power of highsteppers died game right enough — but who, acushla, 'llº beg coppers for you?

Iº tossed that one long before anyone.

It was of a wet good Friday too she was ironingº and,º as I'm given nowº to understand,º she was always mad gone on me.

Grand goosegreasing we had entirely with an allnight eiderdownº bed picnic to follow.º

By the cross of Cong,º says she,º rising up Saturday in the twilight from under me,º Mick,º Nick the Maggotº or whateverº your name is,º you're the moseº likable lad that's come my ways yet from the barony of Bohermore.º

º Mattheehew, Markeehew, Lukeehew, Johnheehewheehew!


And still a light moves long the river. And stiller the mermen ply their keg.

Its pith is full. The way is free. Their lot is cast.

So, to john for a john, johnajeams, led it be!