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My love's an arbutus
By the borders of Lene,
So slender and shapely
In her girdle of green;
And I measure the pleasure
Of her eye's sapphire sheen,
By the blue skies that sparkle
Thro' that soft branching screen.

But tho' ruddy the berry
And snowy the flow'r,
That brighten together
The arbutus bow'r,
Perfuming and blooming
Through sunshine and show'r,
Give me her bright lips
And her laugh's pearly dower.

Alas, fruit and blossom
Shall lie dead on the lea,
And Time's jealous fingers
Dim your young charms, Machree;
But unranging, unchanging,
You'll still cling to me,
Like the ever-green leaf
To the arbutus tree.

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Source: The New National Songbook, eds. Charles Villiers Stanford & Geoffrey Shaw (1906)

Lyric by Alfred Percival Graves. The melody is traditional, and was taken from the Stanford-Petrie Collection, where it appears as I rise in the morning with my heart full of woe: a Cavan air. Also known as The Coola Shore.

The tune given here is as published in The New National Songbook. The note-values have been lengthened and smoothened rather from the set in Petrie. A fairly close relative of the tune seems to have wound up in America attached to Pretty Saro.


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