“Emmet's Farewell to His Sweetheart”


"Farewell, love, farewell, love, I now must leave you." Emmet declares he has never deceived her. "Oh, never in the moonlight we'll roam, love." He asks her to promise to "come to my grave when all others forsake me." He hears "the death token."


For the sad background of this typically Irish story, see the notes to "Bold Robert Emmet."

Robert Kee, in _The Most Distressful Country_ (being volume I of _The Green Flag_), p. 169, reports that Emmet's girlfriend was Sarah Curran, dauughter of the lawyer John Philpot Curran (1750-1817). Curran had defended the 1798 conspirators at their trials, and opposed the Act of Union -- but his daughter had gone farther, writing letters to Emmet which supported rebellion. He disowned her. - RBW

Historical references

  • Sep 20, 1803 - Robert Emmet (1778-1803) is hanged

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 40(3), "Emmet's Farewell To His Love", J.F. Nugent and Co.? (Dublin?), 1850-1899


  1. O'Conor, p. 109, "Emmet's Farewell to His Sweetheart" (1 text)
  2. Moylan 160, "Emmet's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 22, "Emmet's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #5224
  5. BI, OCon109


Alternate titles: “Robert Emmet's Farewell to Sarah Curran”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1900 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 40(3))
Keywords: love farewell execution
Found in: Ireland