Mudcat Café message #937438 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45138   Message #937438
Posted By: GUEST,Firínne
21-Apr-03 - 08:32 PM
Thread Name: Meaning of 'The Coolin'
Subject: RE: Meaning of 'The Coolin'
THE COULIN

The last time she looked in the face of her dear,
She breathed not a sigh, and shed not a tear,
But she took up his harp, and she kissed his cold cheek;
"'Tis the first, and the last, for thy Norah to seek!"

For beauty and bravery, Cathan was known,
And the long-flowing coulin he wore in Tyrone;
The sweetest of singers and harpers was he,
All over the North, from the Bann to the sea.

O'er the marshes of Dublin, he often would rove,
To the glens of O'Toole, where he met with his love;
And at parting they pledged that, next midsummer's day,
He would come for the last time, and bear her away.

The king had forbidden the men of O'Neal,
With the coulin adorned, to come o'er the pale;
But Norah was Irish, and said, in her pride,
"If he wears not his coulin, I'll ne'er be his bride."

The bride has grown pale as the robe that she wears,
For the Lammas is come, and no bridegroom appears;
And she hearkens and gazes, when all are at rest,
For the sound of his harp and the sheen of his vest.

Her palfrey is pillioned and she has gone forth
On the long rugged road that leads to the North -
Where Eblana's strong castle frowns darkly and drear,
Is the head of her Cathan upraised on a spear.

The Lords of the Castle had murdered him there,
And all for the wearing that poor lock of hair;
For the word she had spoken in mirth or in pride,
Her lover, too fond and too faithful, had died.

'Twas then that she looked in the face of her dear,
She breathed not a sigh, and shed not a tear,
She took up his harp, and she kissed his cold cheek;
"Farewell, 'tis the first for thy Norah to seek."

And afterwards, oft would the wilderness ring,
As, at night, in sad strains, to the harp would she sing
Her heartbreaking tones - we remember them well -
But the words of her wailing no mortal can tell.

                                 - Carroll Malone