Mathew Sydney

Colleen Mine*

Mathew Sydney © 2013


Upon the fields of autumn

I saw you dance upon the dew

Your feet were fair in sandals fine

And your movements caused my heart to still

Your face the hue of roses

Your hair, so dark, was tightly bound

Alas, that we’re not married

Or making way across the sea


The local farm boys, rude and bold

Have been making fun of my every tear

For dandies with their heads held high

Have been courting the one I love

If the King of Spain

Would cross the sea with countless men

Then I would trample wood and field

Just to be with you my dear


I would that we were at the fair

Laughing, gay and free, as lovers do

So go away my first love

Come again soon when the hills have moved

If oaken limb were split from limb

Or the swan divided from the wave

Our hearts would still be intertwined

And those who’d part us be the fools


I wrote a letter to my love

Sealed with tears for we’re so far apart

She sent it back with fondest word

Said her heart lay hid deep inside my own

As the swan upon the wave

Her heart yet swims upon my soul

Yet deep and heavy are my sighs

Knowing we’re to be torn apart


I heard on Sunday afternoon

The women were talking loud

They say that she’s to marry

Come winter, to a wealthy man

Oh, love of mine, heed my advice

And stay as free as you are this night

May this autumn ever last

Tell no one you and I are one


*An English adaptation, in verse, of the traditional Irish ballad, "Coinleach Ghlas an Fomhair"