“Callino Casturame (Colleen Og a Store; Cailin O Chois tSiure; Happy 'Tis, Thou Blind, for Thee)”


Gaelic, verses telling the blind to be happy because they cannot be dazzled by the beauty of the girl he loves, apparently in vain


According to Hoagland, this is the tune used for "The Croppy Boy," though she doesn't say which "Croppy Boy" poem she means.

Hoagland also claims that Shakespeare refers to this in Henry V, act IV, scene iv (line 4, I believe, though she doesn't say so). I don't buy it, though. The text of the First Folio is corrupt here, and the claim rests on a conjectural emendation. Editors don't even agree on the emendation. It's hard to accept a claim of dependence based on a text that isn't even secure! - RBW


  1. SHenry H491, p. 225, "Happy 'Tis, Thou Blind, for Thee" (1 text, 1 tune -- the Hyde translation set to music by Sam Henry, with very unhappy results. The various components may be traditional; the result is not)
  2. Chappell/Wooldridge I, pp. 84-85, "Calino Casturame, or Colleen Oge Astore" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 267-259, "Colleen Oge Asthore" (1 text)
  4. BI, HHH491


Author: English words by Douglas Hyde
Earliest date: 1933 (title known to and music arranged by William Byrd, died 1623)
Keywords: love beauty