A Celebration 
of Women Writers

"The Little Head of Curls" by Ethna Carbery [aka Mrs. Seumus MacManus, Anna Johnston] (1866-1902)
From: The Four Winds of Eirinn: Poems by Ethna Carbery. (Anna MacManus.), Complete Edition, Edited by Seumas MacManus. Dublin, Ireland: M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd. 1906. p. 104.

Editor: Mary Mark 

[Page 104] 


O Little Head of Curls, you're my temptation–
  When you flash before my eyes what can I do?
Were I a King I'd leave my lofty station,
  And walk the world a-stóirín, after you!
Ay, walk the world, nor envy mortal in it–
  But travel gaily while the tempest whirls,
You'd be my Summer and my singing Linnet,
  My Treasure-Store–O Little Head of Curls.

O Little Head of Curls, your father's winning,
  Red gold to give the childeen of his heart,
And your thrifty mother sits above her spinning–
  My grief! the wealth that keeps us both apart!
And what have I to offer for their jewel?
  Ah, nothing, caílín deas, save love of you,
So they scorn me in the fair with glances cruel,
  While you coax me with those laughing eyes of blue.

O Little Head of Curls; I'll cross the water,
  Since a poor boy has no peace where'er you be–
And maybe then your haughty mother's daughter
  Will sometimes have a kindly wish for me.
A-rúin–a-rúin, is that a tear down falling,
  And what is this your trembling sweet lips say?
"Would I break your heart entirely?" No, mo cháilín,
  So to comfort and console you, Love, I'll stay.


Editor: Mary 
Mark Ockerbloom