The Irish Unionist's farewell to Greta Hellastrom in 1922 by John Betjeman
Golden haired and golden hearted I would ever have you be, As you were when last we parted Smiling slow and sad at me. Oh! the fighting down of passion! Oh! the century-seeming pain- Parting in this off-hand fashion In Dungarvan in the rain.
Slanting eyes of blue, unweeping Stands my Swedish beauty where Gusts of Irish rain are sweeping Round the statue in the square; Corner boys against the walling Watch us furtively in vain, And the Angelus is calling Through Dungarvan in the rain.
Gales along the Commeragh Mountains, Beating sleet on creaking signs, Iron gutters turned to fountains, And the windscreen laced with lines, And the evening getting later, And the ache - increased again, As the distance grows the greater From Dungarvan in the rain.
There is no one now to wonder What eccentric sits in state While the beech trees rock and thunder Round his gate-lodge and his gate. Gone - the ornamental plaster, Gone - the overgrown demesne And the car goes fast, and faster, From Dungarvan in the rain.
Had I kissed and drawn you to me Had you yielded warm for cold, What a power had pounded through me As I stroked your streaming gold! You were right to keep us parted: Bound and parted we remain, Aching, if unbroken hearted - Oh! Dungarvan in the rain!