Believe Me If All Those
Endearing Young Charms

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Barry Taylor

This is an Irish Song of the early 1800s. The melody had been used earlier for the poem My Lodging it is in the Cold Ground (whose words were also associated with another tune by Locke). It was first printed in 1737 in London, but is probably much older. There was also a set of Scottish lyrics I Lo'ed Ne'er a Laddie But Ane. In 1808 Thomas Moore wrote the lyrics that are popular today. There is also a Harvard version of lyrics to the tune, Fair Harvard.

It is said Moore wrote the lyrics for the wife of the Duke of Wellington when she suffered facial scars from smallpox, though there is some doubt that this is true, as they were married in 1806, and their relationship was known not to be an affectionate one. Another theory is that Moore wrote it for his own wife.

For a complete list of tunes by Thomas Moore at this site, search for Thomas Moore in the search engine or see the Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas Moore.

Believe me if all those
Endearing young charms
Which I gaze on so fondly today
Were to change by tomorrow
And fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away
Though would'st still be adored
As this moment thou art
Let thy loveliness fade as it will
And around the dear ruin
Each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself
Verdantly still.

It is not while beauty
And youth are thine own
And thy cheeks
Unprofaned by a tear
That the ferver and faith
Of a soul can be known
To which time will but
Make thee more dear
No the heart that has truly loved
Never forgets
But as truly loves
On to the close
As the sunflower turns
On her god when he sets
The same look which
She'd turned when he rose.
Related Links
The Fireside Book of Favorite American Songs
See Bibliography for full information.
Additional information from Prof's Traditional Irish Music Pages.