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Ardmore Island, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland 

Allalu Mo Wauleen (Hail my Little Bag)
anonymous

 
 (The Beggar’s Address to His Bag)

 GOOD neighbors, dear, be cautious,
 And covet no man’s pounds or pence.
 Ambition’s greedy maw shun,
 And tread the path of innocence!
 Dread crooked ways and cheating, 
 And be not like those hounds of Hell,
 Like prowling wolves awaiting,
 Which once upon my footsteps fell.
 
 An allalu mo wauleen,
 My little bag I treasured it; 
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen,
 A thousand times I measured it!
 
 Should you ever reach Dungarvan,
 That wretched hole of dole and sin,
 Be on your sharpest guard, man, 
 Or the eyes out of your head they’ll pin.
 Since I left sweet Tipperary,
 They eased me of my cherished load,
 And left me light and airy,
 A poor dark man upon the road! 
 
 An allalu mo wauleen!
 No hole, no stitch, no rent in it,
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen,
 My half-year’s rent was pent in it.
 
 A gay gold ring unbroken, 
 A token to a fair young maid,
 Which told of love unspoken,
 To one whose hopes were long delayed,
 A pair of woolen hoseen,
 Close knitted, without rub or seam, 
 And a pound of weed well-chosen,
 Such as smokers taste in dream!
 
 An allalu mo wauleen,
 Such a store I had in it;
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen, 
 And nothing mean or bad in it!
 
 Full oft in cosy corner
 We’d sit beside a winter fire,
 Nor envied prince or lord, or
 To kingly rank did we aspire. 
 But twice they overhauled us,
 The dark police of aspect dire,
 Because they feared, Mo Chairdeas,
 You held the dreaded Fenian fire!
 
 An allalu mo wauleen, 
 My bag and me they sundered us,
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen,
 My bag of bags they sundered us!
 
 Yourself and I, mo stóreen,
 At every hour of night and day, 
 Through road and lane and bohreen
 Without complaint we made our way,
 Till one sore day a carman
 In pity took us from the road,
 And faced us towards Dungarvan 
 Where mortal sin hath firm abode.
 
 An allalu mo wauleen,
 Without a hole or rent in it,
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen,
 My half-year’s rent was pent in it! 
 
 My curses attend Dungarvan,
 Her boats, her borough, and her fish,
 May every woe that mars man
 Come dancing down upon her dish!
 For all the rogues behind you, 
 From Slaney’s bank to Shannon’s tide,
 Are but poor scholars, mind you,
 To the rogues you’d meet in Abbeyside!
 
 An allalu mo wauleen,
 My little bag I treasured it, 
 ’Twas stuffed from string to sauleen,
 A thousand times I measured it!
 
Note: “Sauleen” means the “little heel” or end of the bag; “mo chardas” means “my dear friend”; a “dark man” is a blind man. I do not know if it has an Irish original, but the number of Gaelic words in it suggests that it is a translation.                          
 

 

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager