Snowy Breasted Pearl - 18th century Irish poem, translated into English by George Petrie in 1855.
Sung by John McCormack
. Recorded by Paddy Reilly.

There's a Colleen fair as May,
For a year and for a day
I have sought by every way
Her heart to gain

There's no art of tongue or eye
Fond youth with maidens try
But I've tried with ceaseless sighs
Yet tried in vain.

If to France or far-off Spain
She'd cross the watery main
To see her face again,
The seas I'd brave

And if 'tis heavens decree
That mine she may not be
May the son of Mary me
In mercy save.

Oh, thou blooming milk-white dove
To whom I've given my love
Do not ever thus reprove
My constancy

There are maidens would be mine,
With wealth in land or kine
If my heart would but incline
To turn from thee.

But a kiss with welcome bland
And touch of thy fair hand
Is all that I demand
Would'st thou not spurn

For if not mine dear girl,
Oh, snowy-breasted pearl
May I never from the fair
With life return.