The Coulin

Melody - "The Coulin", according to tradition composed by elves, early 16th Century; Seq. by Barry Taylor

Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, Vol. 1

Though the last glimpse of Erin with sorrow I see,
Yet wherever thou art shall seem Erin to me;
In exile thy bosom shall still be my home,
And thine eyes make my climate wherever we roam.

2. To the gloom of some desert or cold rocky shore,
Where the eye of the stranger can haunt us no more,
I will fly with my Coulin, and think the rough wind
Less rude than the foes we leave frowning behind.

3. And I'll gaze on thy gold hair as graceful it wreathes,
And hang o'er thy soft harp as wildly it breathes;
Nor dread that the cold hearted Saxon will tear
One chord from that harp, or one lock from that hair.*

From the footnotes of Irish Melodies:

* "In the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Henry VIII, an Act was made respecting the habits, and dress in general, of the Irish, whereby all persons were constrained from being shorn or shaven above the ears, or from wearing Glibbes, or Coulins (long locks), on their heads, or hair on their upper lip, called Crommeal. On this occasion, a song was written by one of our bards, in which an Irish virgin is made to give the preference to her dear Coulin (or the youth with the flowing locks) to all strangers (by which the English were meant), or those who wore their habits. Of this song, the air alone has reached us,and is universally admired." -- Walker's Historical Memoirs of Irish Bards. p. 134. About this period, harsh measures were taken against the Irish Mistrels.