Sunday, September 18, 2005

211. Mr Midshipman MacCarthy

I sit outside your door
Barry MacCarthy
half drunk and half sober
cradling my father's pistol
waiting, waiting for the dawn
and for you to walk out
so I can shoot you dead.

In boyhood days
Barry MacCarthy
there were no better friends
than you and me against the world
"contra mundum" -- do you
remember? Then your parson daddy
sent you off to the Navy.

On deck, there, Mr Midshipman
Barry MacCarthy
look lively, hoist the topgallant sails
clap on the blocks, bear away
and leave them ratlines alone.
And it was Eileen M'Gee who loved me
and not you.

O we took a brilliant prize
says Barry MacCarthy
and my pockets are full of golden guineas
taken from Papist Spaniards.
I am rich beyond belief in my father's parish
and it is you, young Eileen M'Gee
I wish to take to wife.

My Eileen, in tears,
last night she came to me,
beaten by her drunken father, a bad farmer,
but he with a glimmer
of debts forgiven. It is the gold
that opens all their eyes,
the sudden wealth.

Dear Jemmy, 'tis you I love
not Barry MacCarthy,
'Tis you young Eileen I love in return
and I will furnish an answer.
Ah, Barry MacCarthy, dear Barry,
cradling my father's pistol
I wait for the dawn.