A stalwart and handsome young bouchaill was Brian
As blithe as a lavrock, as brave as a lion;
He lived with his parents, and tilled the rich clay
Of his father’s snug farm by the banks of Lough Neagh.
And sweet Maire og was of colleens the rarest,
The happiest, tenderest, winsomest, fairest;
Her presence illuminated by night and by day,
Her mother’s nice cot near the banks of Lough Neagh.
Now Brian and Maire from earliest childhood
Were playmates, on highland, in valley, and wildwood;
Together at school, and together at play –
They oft’ roamed together the banks of Lough Neagh.
In years they advanced, and Dan Cupid (no wonder)
Discovered the pair; they grew fonder and fonder.
Ah! bright shone the sun o’er the waters the day
They plighted their troth by the banks of Lough Neagh.
Alas! Happy moments too soon have departed –
Too soon came the day when our hero sad-hearted,
Was forced by hard fortune in exile to stray,
And leave Maire in sorrow to pine by Lough Neagh.
Now Maire the haunts of her childhood would wander,
Alone o’er past hours of enjoyment to ponder,
And pray for her Brian, and sigh for the day
When he would come back to his home by Lough Neagh.
Oh, black was the day, for the true-hearted maiden
When came the dread news that her Brian was laid in
A cold alien grave from his friends far away;
To never – o never, return to Lough Neagh.
Not one tear was shed, not one bitter word spoken
By her when she heard – yet her heart, it was broken;
She quickly and silently faded away; –
Her grave is now green near the banks of Lough Neagh