Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning
Bent o'er the fire her blind grandmother sitting
Crooning and moaning and drowsily knitting.
Merrily cheerily noiselessly whirring
Spins the wheel, rings the wheel while the foot's stirring
Sprightly and lightly and merrily ringing
Sounds the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.
Eileen, a chara, I hear someone tapping
'Tis the ivy dear mother against the glass flapping
Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing
'Tis the sound mother dear of the autumn winds dying.
What's the noise I hear at the window I wonder?
'Tis the little birds chirping, the holly-bush under
What makes you shoving and moving your stool on
And singing all wrong the old song of the "Coolin"?
There's a form at the casement, the form of her true love
And he whispers with face bent, I'm waiting for you love
Get up from the stool, through the lattice step lightly
And we'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining brightly.
The maid shakes her head, on her lips lays her fingers
Steps up from the stool, longs to go and yet lingers
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother
Puts her foot on the stool spins the wheel with the other
Lazily, easily, now swings the wheel round
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's sound
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps, then leaps to the arms of her lover.
Slower... and slower... and slower the wheel swings
Lower... and lower... and lower the reel rings
Ere the reel and the wheel stop their ringing and moving
Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving.