"It May Be For Years, And It May Be Forever!"
Context: An Irish lover calls his beloved Kathleen to awaken, for "the gray dawn is breaking," and they must soon part. "Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!" he begs. He weeps "To think that from Erin and thee I must part!" The lover seems to have lost his charm for Kathleen, for she sleeps on while he suffers:
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumbering still?Oh, hast thou forgotten how soon we must sever?Oh! hast thou forgotten this day we must part?It may be for years, and it may be forever!Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?Oh! why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?