St. Senanus and the Lady

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Melody - "The Brown Thorn"
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Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 2

St. Senanus*:
On! haste, and leave this sacred isle,
Unholy bark, ere morning smile;
For on thy deck, though dark it be,
A female form I see;
And I have sworn this sainted sod
Shall ne'er by woman's feet by trod!"

The Lady:
2. Oh! Father, send not hence my bark
Through wintry winds and billows dark,
I come, with humble heart, to share
Thy morn and evening prayer;
Nor mine the feet, oh! holy Saint,
The brightness of thy sod to taint."

3. The lady's prayer Senanus spurn'd;
The winds blew fresh, the bark return'd.
But legends hint, that had the maid
Till morning's light delay'd,
And given the saint one rosy smile,
She ne'er had left his lonely isle.


In a metrical life of St. Senanus, taken from an old Kilkenny MS., and which may be found among the Acta Sanctorum Hiberniæ, we are told of his flight to the island of Scattery, and his resolution not to admit any women of the party; he refused to receive even a sister saint, St. Cannera, whom an angel had taken to the island for the express purpose of introducing her to him. The following was the ungraciuos answer of Senanus, according to his poetical biographer --

   Cui Præsul, quid foeminus
   Commune est cum monachis?
   Nec te nec uliam aliam
   Admittemus in insulam.

According to Dr. Loedwich, St Senanus was no less a personage than the River Shannon; but O'Connor and other antiquarians, deny this metamorphisis indignantly. - from Irish Melodies.

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