Peg of Limavaddy
Riding from Coleraine (Famed for lovely Kitty), Came a Cockney bound Unto Derry city; Weary was his soul, Shivering and sad, he Bumped along the road Leads to Limavaddy. Mountains stretch'd around, Gloomy was their tinting, And the horse's hoofs Made a dismal clinting; Wind upon the heath Howling was and piping, On the heath and bog, Black with many a snipe in. Mid the bogs of black, Silver pools were flashing, Crows upon their sides Picking were and splashing. Cockney on the car Closer folds his plaidy, Grumbling at the road Leads to Limavaddy. Through the crashing woods Autumn brawld and bluster'd, Tossing round about Leaves the hue of mustard Yonder lay Lough Foyle, Which a storm was whipping, Covering with mist Lake, and shores and shipping. Up and down the hill (Nothing could be bolder), Horse went with a raw Bleeding on his shoulder. "Where are horses changed?" Said I to the laddy Driving on the box: "Sir, at Limavaddy." Limavaddy inn's But a humble bait-house, Where you may procure Whiskey and potatoes; Landlord at the door Gives a smiling welcome— To the shivering wights Who to his hotel come. Landlady within Sits and knits a stocking, With a wary foot Baby's cradle rocking. To the chimney nook Having, found admittance, There I watch a pup Playing with two kittens; (Playing round the fire), Which of blazing turf is, Roaring to the pot Which bubbles with the murphies. And the cradled babe Fond the mother nursed it, Singing it a song As she twists the worsted! Up and down the stair Two more young ones patter (Twins were never seen Dirtier nor fatter). Both have mottled legs, Both have snubby noses, Both have—Here the host Kindly interposes: "Sure you must be froze With the sleet and hail, sir: So will you have some punch, Or will you have some ale, sir?" Presently a maid Enters with the liquor (Half a pint of ale Frothing in a beaker). Gads! didn't know What my beating heart meant: Hebe's self I thought Entered the apartment. As she came she smiled, And the smile bewitching, On my word and honor, Lighted all the kitchen! With a curtsy neat Greeting the new comer, Lovely, smiling Peg Offers me the rummer; But my trembling hand Up the beaker tilted, And the glass of ale Every drop I spilt it: Spilt it every drop (Dames, who read my volumes, Pardon such a word) On my what-d'ye-call-'ems! Witnessing the sight Of that dire disaster, Out began to laugh Missis, maid, and master; Such a merry peal 'Specially Miss Peg's was, (As the glass of ale Trickling down my legs was,) That the joyful sound Of that mingling laughter Echoed in my ears Many a long day after. Such a silver peal! In the meadows listening, You who've heard the bells Ringing to a christening; You who ever heard Caradori pretty, Smiling like an angel, Singing "Giovinetti;" Fancy Peggy's laugh, Sweet, and clear, and cheerful, At my pantaloons With half a pint of beer full! When the laugh was done, Peg, the pretty hussy, Moved about the room Wonderfully busy; Now she looks to see If the kettle keep hot; Now she rubs the spoons, Now she cleans the teapot; Now she sets the cups Trimly and secure: Now she scours a pot, And so it was I drew her. Thus it was I drew her Scouring of a kettle, (Faith! her blushing cheeks Redden'd on the metal!) Ah! but 'tis in vain That I try to sketch it; The pot perhaps is like, But Peggy's face is wretched. No the best of lead And of indian-rubber Never could depict That sweet kettle-scrubber! See her as she moves Scarce the ground she touches, Airy as a fay, Graceful as a duchess; Bare her rounded arm, Bare her little leg is, Vestris never show'd Ankles like to Peggy's. Braided is her hair, Soft her look and modest, Slim her little waist Comfortably bodiced. This I do declare, Happy is the laddy Who the heart can share Of Peg of Limavaddy. Married if she were Blest would be the daddy Of the children fair Of Peg of Limavaddy. Beauty is not rare In the land of Paddy, Fair beyond compare Is Peg of Limavaddy. Citizen or Squire, Tory, Whig, or Radi- cal would all desire Peg of Limavaddy. Had I Homer's fire, Or that of Serjeant Taddy, Meetly I'd admire Peg of Limavaddy. And till I expire, Or till I grow mad I Will sing unto my lyre Peg of Limavaddy!
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).