Lettice D'Oyly Walters.

Irish poets of to-day online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryLettice D'Oyly WaltersIrish poets of to-day → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


IRISH POETS
OF TO-DAY

AN ANTHOLOGY



THE



1 VrR$E-S?E'I>WEL'L A191S) V



Editor of AN ANTHOLOGY OF
RECENT POETRY (1920) Illus-
trated Edition, "THE YEARS
AT THE SPRING"

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO
WILTSHIRE (1921)



IRISH POETS
OF TO-DAY



AN ANTHOLOGY

COMPILED BY

L. D'O. WALTERS



T. FISHER UNWIN LTD

LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE



First published . . . June 1921
Second Impression . . December 1921



(All rights reserved)



TO MY SON

AND

A. E.



er f *



NOTE



The majority of these poems have been
selected by me, but in a feiv instances the
poet himself has expressed a wish that
some particular poem or poems should be
included, and I have abided readily by
his choice.

My thanks to both Authors and Pub-
Ushers ivill be found on another page,
but here I would thank expressly A. E.,
Messrs. Maunsel <fc Roberts, and The
Talbot Press for the help they have given
me, and for the courtesy they have shoivn
me, while I have been compiling this
Anthology.

L. D'O. WALTERS.



CONTENTS

Arranged under names of Authors



A. E.

PAGE

A CALL ... ... ... ,.. ... 17

AWAKENING ... ... ... ... 18

CABROWMOBE... ... ... ... ... 19

IN THE WOMB ... ... ... ... 21

THE GIFT ... ... ... ... ... 22

THE VISION OF LOVE ... ... ... 23

BOYD, THOMAS

TO THE LEANAN SIDHE ... ... ... 24

CAMPBELL, JOSEPH

THE OLD WOMAN ... ... ... ... 26

CHALMERS, PATRICK R.

THE BOAD ... ... ... ... ... 27

CHESSON, NORA

THE SHOBT CUT TO BOSSES ... ... 29

CLARKE, AUSTIN

THE VENGEANCE OF PiONN. Part VI, lines 10-71 30

COLUM, PADRAIC

A CBADLE SONG ... ... ... ... 33

A DBOVEB ... ... ... ... ... 34

AN OLD WOMAN OF THE BOADS ... ... 36

COUSINS, JAMES H.

HIGH AND LOW ... ... ... ... 38

THE COBNCBAKE ... 39



io CONTENTS

DOAK, H. L.

PAGE

THE BEGGAR ... ... ... ... ... 40

FIGGIS, DARRELL

BOGAC BAN ... ... ... ... 41

INISGALLUN ... ... ... ... ... 43

GORE-BOOTH, EVA

TO DORA SIGER8ON SHORTER. "THE SAD YEARS" 44

GREGORY, PADRIC

DOUBT OF REMEMBRANCE ... ... ... 45

THE DREAM-TELLER ... ... ... 46

THE WARNINGS ... ... ... ... 47

HUME, ISOBEL (I. H. FISHER)

HOME-COMING ... ... ... ... 48

THE SLEEPER ... ... ... ... 49

HYDE, DOUGLAS

IP I WERE TO GO WEST ... ... ... 50

RINGLETED YOUTH OF MY LOVE ... ... 52

THE COOLEEN, OR COOLUN ... ... 54

JOHNSON, LIONEL

DEAD ... ... ... ... ... 56

TO MORFYDD ... ... ... ... 57

" TO WEEP IRISH " ... ... ... ... 59

LEDWIDGE, FRANCIS

DESIRE IN SPRING ... ... ... 60

MY MOTHER . ... ... 61



CONTENTS 1 1
LESLIE, SHANE

PAGE

FLEET STREET ... ... ... ... 62

FOREST SONG ... ... ... ... 63

HOLY CROSS ... ... ... ... 64

MUCKI8H MOUNTAIN ... ... ... ... 66

LETTS, W. M.

BOYS ... ... ... ... ... 67

IN THE STREET ... ... ... ... 68

IRISH SKIES ... ... ... ... 69

THE HARBOUR ... ... ... ... 71

LYSAGHT, EDWARD E.

THE MARCH FAIR... ... ... ... 73

MACDONAGH, THOMAS

TO EOGHAN ... ... ... ... ... 76

MACENTEE, JOHN FRANCIS

I MADE MY LOVE A LITTLE SECRET HOUSE... 77

MACGILL, PATRICK

DEDICATION ... ... ... ... ... 79

MITCHELL, SUSAN

THE LIVING CHALICE ... ... ... 82

" O'NEILL, MOIRA"

CORRYMEELA ... ... ... ... ... 83

O'SULLIVAN, SEUMAS

THE ROSSES ... ... ... ... 85

THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE 86



12 CONTENTS

PEABSE, P. H.

PAGE

A WOMAN OF THE MOUNTAIN KEENS HER SON 87

THE WAYFARER ... ... ... ... 89

PLUNKETT, JOSEPH M.

WHITE DOVE OF THE WILD DARK EYES ... 90

ROLLESTON, T. W.

SONG OF MAELDUIN ... ... ... ... 91

THE DEAD AT CLONMACNOIS ... ... 93

ROWLEY, R.

THINKIN' LONG ... ... ... ... 94

WITCHCRAFT ... ... ... ... 95

SIGERSON, DORA

CAN DOOV DEELISH ... ... ... ... 96

THE COMFORTERS... ... ... ... 97

STEPHENS, JAMES

BLUE STARS AND GOLD ... ... ... 98

IN THE POPPY FIELD ... ... ... 99

O'CONNELL BRIDGE ... ... ... ... 100

STEPHEN'S GREEN ... ... ... 101

THE RED-HAIRED MAN'S WIFE ... ... ... 102

THE SNARE ... ... ... ... 104

TRENCH, HERBERT

A SONG TO AROLILIA, DWELLER BY THE FOUNTAIN 105

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT ... ... ... 107

SONG OF THE VINE IN ENGLAND ... ... 108

WHO ART THOU, STARRY GHOST ... ... 112



CONTENTS 13
TYNAN, KATHARINE

FAGS

FAREWELL ... ... ... ... 113

THE OLD LOVE ... ... ... ... 114

THE PRAYER ... ... ... ... 116

YEATS, W. B.

DOWN BY THE S ALLEY GARDENS ... ... 117

RUNNING TO PARADISE ... ... ... 118

THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE... ... ... 120

THE SORROW OF LOVE ... ... ... 121

THE WILD SWANS AT COOLE ... ... ... 122

TO THE ROSE UPON THE ROOD OF TIME ... 124

WHEN YOU ARE OLD . .126



IRISH POETS OF TO-DAY

AN ANTHOLOGY



A.E.



A CALL

DUSK its ash-grey blossoms sheds on violet skies,
Over twilight mountains where the heart songs rise,
Rise and fall and fade away from earth to air.
Earth renews the music sweeter. Oh, come there.
Come, acushla, come, as in ancient times
Rings aloud the underland with faery chimes.
Down the unseen ways as strays each tinkling fleece
Winding ever onward to a fold of peace,
So my dreams go straying in a land more fair ;
Half I tread the dew-wet grasses, half wander there.
Fade your glimmering eyes in a world grown cold ;
Come, acushla, with me to the mountains old.
There the bright ones call us waving to and fro
Come, my children, with me to the ancient go.



i8 A. E.



AWAKENING



THE lights shone down the street
In the long blue close of day :
A boy's heart beat sweet, sweet,
As it flowered in its dreamy clay.

Beyond the dazzling throng
And above the towers of men
The stars made him long, long,
To return to their light again.

They lit the wondrous years
And his heart within was gay ;
But a life of tears, tears,
He had won for himself that day.



A. E. 19



CARROWMORE

IT'S a lonely road through bogland to the lake at

Carrowmore,
And a sleeper there lies dreaming where the water

laps the shore ;
Though the moth-wings of the twilight in their

purples are unfurled,
Yet his sleep is filled with music by the masters of

the world.

There's a hand is white as silver that is fondling

with his hair :
There are glimmering feet of sunshine that are dancing

by him there :
And half-open lips of faery that were dyed a faery

red
In their revels where the Hazel Tree its holy clusters

shed.

" Come away," the red lips whisper, " all the world

is weary now;
'Tis the twilight of the ages and it's time to quit

the plough.
Oh, the very sunlight's weary ere it lightens up the

dew,
And its gold is changed and faded before it falls to

you.



20 A. E.

" Though your colleen's heart be tender, a tenderer
heart is near.

What's the starlight in her glances when the stars
are shining clear ?

Who would kiss the fading shadow when the flower-
face glows above ?

'Tis the beauty of all Beauty that is calling for
your love. 5 '

Oh ! the great gates of the mountain have opened

once again.
And the sound of song and dancing falls upon the ears

of men,
And the Land of Youth lies gleaming, flushed with

rainbow light and mirth,
And the old enchantment lingers in the honey-heart

of earth.



A. E. 21



IN

THE WOMB

STILL rests the heavy share on the dark soil :
Upon the black mould thick the dew-damp lies :
The horse waits patient : from his lowly toil
The ploughboy to the morning lifts his eyes.

The unbudding hedgerows dark against day's fires
Glitter with gold-lit crystals : on the rim
Over the unregarding city's spires
The lonely beauty shines alone for him.

And day by day the dawn or dark enfolds
And feeds with beauty eyes that cannot see
How in her womb the mighty mother moulds
The infant spirit for eternity.



22 A. E.



THE
GIFT

I THOUGHT, beloved, to have brought to you
A gift of quietness and ease and peace,
Cooling your brow as with the mystic dew
Dropping from the twilight trees.

Homeward I go not yet ; the darkness grows ;
Not mine the voice to still with peace divine :
From the first fount the stream of quiet flow r s
Through other hearts than mine.

Yet of my night I give to you the stars,
And of my sorrow here the sweetest gains,
And out of hell, beyond its iron bars,
My scorn of all its pains.



A E. 23



THE VISION
OF LOVE

THE twilight fleeted away in pearl on the stream,
And night, like a diamond dome, stood still in our

dream.
Your eyes like burnished stones or as stars were

bright
With the sudden vision that made us one with the

night.

We loved in infinite spaces, forgetting here

The breasts that were lit with life and the lips so

near ;

Till the wizard willows waved in the wind and drew
Me away from the fulness of love and down to you.

Our love was so vast that it filled the heavens up :
But the soft white fear I held was an empty cup,
When the willows called me back to earth with their

sigh,
And we moved as shades through the deep that was

you and I.



24 THOMAS BOYD



TO THE
LEAN^N SIDHE '

WHERE is thy lovely perilous abode ?

In what strange phantom-land
Glimmer the fairy turrets whereto rode

The ill-starred poet band ?

Say, in the Isle of Youth hast thou thy home,

The sweetest singer there,
Stealing on winged steed across the foam

Through the moonlit air ?

Or, where the mists of bluebell float beneath

The red stems of the pine,

And sunbeams strike thro' shadow, dost thou
breathe

The word that makes him thine ?

Or by the gloomy peaks of Erigal,

Haunted by storm and cloud,
Wing past, and to thy lover there let fall

His singing-robe and shroud ?

Or, is thy palace entered thro' some cliff

When radiant tides are full,
And round thy lover's wandering, starlit skiff,

Coil in luxurious lull ?
' "The Fairy Bride," pronounced Lenaivn Shee.



THOMAS BOYD 25

And would he, entering on the brimming flood,

See caverns vast in height,
And diamond columns, crowned with leaf and bud,

Glow in long lanes of light,

And there, the pearl of that great glittering shell

Trembling, behold thee lone,
Now weaving in slow dance an awful spell,

Now still upon thy throne ?

Thy beauty ! ah, the eyes that pierce him thro*

Then melt as in a dream ;
The voice that sings the mysteries of the blue

And all that Be and Seem !

Thy lovely motions answering to the rhyme

That ancient Nature sings,
That keeps the stars in cadence for all time,

And echoes thro' all things !

Whether he sees thee thus, or in his dreams,

Thy light makes all lights dim ;
An aching solitude from henceforth seems

The world of men to him.

Thy luring song, above the sensuous roar,

He follows with delight,
Shutting behind him Life's last gloomy door,

And fares into the Night.



26 JOSEPH CAMPBELL



THE

OLD WOMAN



As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an agd face.

As the spent radiance
Of the winter sun,
So is a woman
With her travail done.

Her brood gone from her
And her thoughts as still
As the waters
Under a ruined mill.



PATRICK R. CHALMERS 27



THE
ROAD

" Now where are ye goin'," ses I, " wid the shawl
An' cotton umbrella an' basket an' all ?
Would ye not wait for McMullen's machine,
Wid that iligant instep befittin' a queen ?

Oh, you wid the wind-soft grey eye wid a wile

in it,

You wid the lip wid the troublesome smile in it,
Sure, the road's wet, ivery rain-muddied mile

in it "

" Ah, the Saints 'II be kapin' me petticoats clean ! "

" But," ses I, " would ye like it to meet Clancy's

bull,

Or the tinks poachin' rabbits above Slieve-na-coul ?
An' the ford at Kilmaddy is big wid the snows,
An' the whisht Little People that wear the green

close,
They'd run from the bog to be makin' a catch

o' ye,
The king o' them's wishful o' weddin' the match

o' ye,
'Twould be long, if they did, 'ere ye lifted the

latch o' ye "

" What fairy's to touch her that sings as she goes ! "



28 PATRICK R. CHALMERS

" Ah, where are ye goin'," ses I, " wid the shawl,
An' the grey eyes a-dreamin' beneath it an' all ?
The road by the mountain's a long one, depend
Ye'll be done for, alannah, ere reachin' the end ;
Ye'll be bate wid the wind on each back-breakin'

bit on it,
Wet wid the puddles and lamed with the grit

on it,
Since lonesome ye're layin' yer delicut fit on

it "

" Sure whin's a road lonesome that's stepped wid a

friend?"

That's stepped wid a friend ?
Who did Bridgy intend ?

Still 't was me that went wid her right on to the
end!



NORA CHESSON 29



THE SHORT CUT
TO ROSSES

BY the short cut to Rosses a fairy girl I met,
I was taken in her beauty as a fish is in a net.
The fern uncurled to look at her, so very fair was

she,
With her hair as bright as seaweed new-drawn from

out the sea.

By the short cut to Rosses ('twas on the first of

May)
I heard the fairies piping, and they piped my heart

away;
They piped till I was mad with joy, but when I was

alone
I found my heart was piped away and in my breast

a stone.

By the short cut to Rosses 'tis I'll go never more,
Lest she should also steal my soul that stole my

heart before,
Lest she take my soul and crush it like a dead leaf

in her hand,
For the short cut to Rosses is the way to Fairyland.



30 AUSTIN CLARKE



THE VENGEANCE
OF FIONN



Part VI. Lines 19-71.

IN the sleepy forest where the bluebells
Smouldered dimly through the night,
Diarmuid saw the leaves like glad green waters
At daybreak flowing into light,
And exultant from his love upspringing
Strode with the sun upon the height.

Glittering on the hilltops

He saw the sunlit rain

Drift as around the spindle

A silver-threaded skein,

And the brown mist whitely breaking

Where arrowy torrents reached the plain.

A maddened moon

Leapt in his heart and whirled the crimson tide
Of his blood until it sang aloud of battle
Where the querns of dark death grind,
Till it sang and scorned in pride
Love the froth-pale blossom of the boglands
That flutters on the waves of the wandering
wind.



AUSTIN CLARKE 31

Flower-quiet in the rush-strewn sheiling

At the dawntime Grainne lay,

While beneath the birch-topped roof the

sunlight

Groped upon its way

And stooped above her sleeping white body
With a wasp-yellow ray.

The hot breath of the day awoke her,

And wearied of its heat

She wandered out by noisy elms

On the cool mossy peat,

Where the shadowed leaves like pecking linnets

Nodded around her feet.

She leaned and saw in pale-grey waters,

By twisted hazel boughs,

Her lips like heavy drooping poppies

In a rich redness drowse,

Then swallow-lightly touched the ripples

Until her wet lips were

Burning as ripened rowan berries

Through the white winter air.

Lazily she lingered

Gazing so,

As the slender osiers
Where the waters flow,
As green twigs of sally
Swaying to and fro.



32 AUSTIN CLARKE

Sleepy moths fluttered

In her dark eyes,

And her lips grew quieter

Than lullabies.

Swaying with the reedgrass

Over the stream

Lazily she lingered

Cradling a dream.



PADRAIC COLUM 33



A CRADLE
SONG



O, MEN from the fields !
Come gently within.
Tread softly, softly,
O ! men coming in.

Mavourneen is going
From me and from you,
Where Mary will fold him
With mantle of blue !

From reek of the smoke
And cold of the floor,
And the peering of things
Across the half-door.

O, men from the fields !
Soft, softly come thro'.
Mary puts round him
Her mantle of blue.



34 PADRAIC COLUM



A

DROVER



To Meath of the pastures,
From wet hills of the sea,
Through Leitrim and Longford,
Go my cattle and me.

I hear in the darkness
Their slipping and breathing
I name them the bye-ways
They're to pass without heeding ;

Then the wet, winding roads,
Brown bogs with black water ;
And my thoughts on white ships
And the King o' Spain's daughter.

O ! farmer, strong farmer !
You can spend at the fair ;
But your face you must turn
To your crops and your care.

And soldiers red soldiers !
You've seen many lands ;
But you walk two by two,
And by captain's commands.



PADRAIC COLUM 35

! the smell of the beasts,
The wet wind in the morn ;
And the proud and hard earth
Never broken for corn ;

And the crowds at the fair,
The herds loosened and blind,
Loud words and dark faces
And the wild blood behind.

(0 ! strong men, with your best

1 would strive breast to breast.
I could quiet your herds

With my words, with my words.)

I will bring you, my kine,
Where there's grass to the knee ;
But you'll think of scant croppings
Harsh with salt of the sea.



36 PADRAIC COLUM



AN OLD WOMAN
OF THE ROADS

! to have a little house !

To own the hearth and stool and all !
The heaped up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall !

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down !
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown !

1 could be busy all the day

Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,

And fixing on their shelf again

My white and blue and speckled store !

I could be quiet there at night

Beside the fire and by myself,

Sure of a bed and loth to leave

The ticking clock and the shining delph !

Och ! but I'm weary of mist and dark,

And roads where there's never a house nor bush,

And tired I am of bog and road,

And the crying w r ind and the lonesome hush !



PADRAIC COLUM 37

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house a house of my own-
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.



38 JAMES H. COUSINS



HIGH
AND LOW

HE stumbled home from Clifden fair

With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.

Yet there was something in his air

That told of kingship long ago.

I sighed and inly cried

With grief that one so high should fall so low.

He snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,

And waved it toward the sunset sky.

Some old sweet rapture thro' him went

And kindled in his bloodshot eye.

I turned and inly burned

With joy that one so low should rise so high.



JAMES H. COUSINS 39



THE
CORNCRAKE



I HEARD him faintly, far away,
(Break ! Break ! Break ! Break !)
Calling to the dawn of day,
" Break ! Break ! "

I heard him in the yellow morn
(Shake ! Shake {Shake I Shake !)
Shouting thro' the rustling corn,
" Shake ! Shake ! "

I heard him near where one lay dead

(Ache! Ache!)
Crying among poppies red,

" Ache ! Ache ! Ache ! Ache ! "

And where a solemn yew-tree waves

(Wake! Wake!)
All night he shouts among the graves,

" Wake ! Wake ! Wake ! Wake ! "



40 H. L. DOAK



THE
BEGGAR

IF I had a farm, an' no need to be beggin' my bread,
I'd work till my fingers were all wore away to the

bone.
It wouldn't be me you would see lyin' long in my

bed;
I'd be out by the squeak o' the day, lookin' after

my own.

But the pride of industry flies out at the raggedy

holes
In a coat an 5 a trousers an' maybe the half of a

shirt.
You rich, let you wear to a shadow your bodies an'

souls ;
The beggar is happy to lie on his back in the dirt.

From H. L. Book's " The Three-Rock Road" by kind
permission of The Talbot Press, Ltd., Dublin.



DARRELL FIGGIS 41



BOGAG
BAN

A WOMAN had I seen as I rode by,
Stacking her turf and chanting an old song ;
But now her voice came to me like a cry
Wailing an old immeasurable wrong,
Riding the road thro' Bogac ban.

Like a grey ribbon over the dark world,

Lying along the bog that rose each side,

The white road strayed upon the earth, and curled,

Staying its journey where the hills abide,

Riding the road thro 9 Bogac ban.

It was not that the Night had laid her cloak
About the valley, going thro' the sky,
And yet a dimness like a distant smoke
Had fallen on the Earth as I rode by.
Riding the road thro' Bogac ban.

Sweeping the sides of the mountains gaunt and high,
Floating about their faces in the pool,
A shadowy presence with a rustling sigh
Crept thro' the valley till the valley was full :
My horse's hoofs fell softly as on wool :
Riding the road thro' Bogac ban.



42 DARRELL FIGGIS

In musical measures like an echo dim

The hosting held its secret path unseen :

Sliabh Mor looked down to Mam, and Mam to him

Looked up, with Loch na n'Ean between :

Riding the road thro' Bogac bdn.

A new world and a new scene mixed its power
With the old world and the old scene of Earth's face :
A doorway had been folded back an hour ;
And silver lights fell with a secret grace
Where I endeavoured the white path to trace
Riding the road thro' Bogac ban.

Within my mind a sudden joy had birth,
For I had found an infinite company there :
The hosting of the companies of the earth,
The hosting of the companies of the air,
Riding the road thro' Bogac ban.
The white, strange road thro' Bogac ban.



DARRELL FIGGIS 43



INISGALLUN

THE winds are roaring out of the West

Where the clouds are in stormy saffron drest,

And the curlew and wild-geese are calling and crying

Over the straits in Inisgallun,

The heron and cormorant wailing and sighing,

Mingling a wild and an endless tune.

The winds are roaring out of the West

Over the waters of strife and unrest,

The shrieking rain in the low pools falling,

The strong waves beating a ceaseless rune,

And the heron and curlew and wild-geese calling,

Vainly lamenting in Inisgallun.

The froth and fume of the maddened sea

Spit thro' the torn air ceaselessly ;

And the dark low bog in anguish crying,

And the heather wailing in bitter pain ;

For the winds from out of the West are flying

And the Earth will never find peace again.



44 EVA GORE-BOOTH



TO DORA SIGERSON SHORTER
44 THE SAD YEARS'*

You whom I never knew,

Who lived remote, afar,

Yet died of the grief that tore my heart,

Shall we live through the ages alone, apart,

Or meet wiiere the souls of the sorrowful are

Telling the tale on some secret star,

How your death from the root of my sorrow grew

You whom I never knew.

Nay, perhaps in the coming years,

Down here on our earth again,

We shall meet as strangers on some strange shore,

And dream we have known one another before,

In a past life, weeping over the slain

Because of a thrill and a throb of pain,

And eyes grown suddenly salt with tears . . .

Perhaps ... in the coming years. . . .



PADRIC GREGORY 45



DOUBT OF
REMEMBRANCE

IF I, who loathe my remnant of sad days,

Could make her hear who lies beneath the sod,

Could call her spirit from the starry-ways,
Could pluck her from the shielding Arms of God.

Could let her breathe again the April wind,
Or hear the patt'ring of soft summer rain,

Should call her back to all she left behind . . .
Oh, would her coming give my heart more pain ?

Oh, would her eyes scan all the ambered South,
And sweep, tear-filled, the dark hill-shadowing sea,

And nothing else ? Oh, would she kiss my mouth ?
Oh, God ! oh God ! Would she remember me ?



46 PADRIC GREGORY



THE

DREAM -TELLER



I WAS a dreamer : I dreamed
A dream at the dark of dawn,
When the stars hung over the mountains
And morn was wan.

I dreamed my dream at morn,
At noon, at the even-light,
But I told it to you, dark woman,
One soft glad night.

And the sharing of my dream
Has brought me only this :
The gnawing pain of loss, the ache
For your mouth to kiss.

I walked the high hills last night,

And lo, where the pale stars gleam,

God's cold Voice spake : " If you dream again,

Tell none your dream ;

Tell none your dream ! "



PADRIC GREGORY 47



THE
WARNINGS

OCHANNEE, ochannee,
Ye say he's dead. God rest his sowl !
But mind ye this : I thought he'd be ;
For yisterday at dinner-time our ouP
Black clock, that's sittin' on the kitchen shelf,
An' hasnae worked for years, struck three ;

An' the Blessid Mother o' God, herself
Alone, knows how it frightened me.

Thin last night, whin I wint tae bed,

A score o' times I crossed m'self ;

For some strange dog comminced tae howl

Furmust the dure ;
An' in the hen-house all the fowl
Seemed restless ; an' my beads I said
For William John ; for I felt sure

That he was dead.

Ochannee, ochannee,

God rest his soul !



48 ISOBEL HUME (I. H. Fisher)



HOME-COMING



I AM come home again
Back to the old grey town,
Battling with wind and rain
As I go up and down.

I am come from the South,
With never a greeting said,
And no one to kiss my mouth
Now that my love is dead.

As I go up and down
In the loud wind and rain,
Through the familiar town
He walks with me again.

A woman robbed of her youth
The ghost of a lad long dead,
With never a kiss on my mouth,
And never a greeting said.



ISOBEL HUME (I. H. Fisher) 49



THE
SLEEPER



UNDER white eyelids
The dreams come and go,
Kiss her on her rosy mouth,
And wake her so.

Under white eyelids
The dreams are all done,
Fold her hands across her breast-


1 3 4

Online LibraryLettice D'Oyly WaltersIrish poets of to-day → online text (page 1 of 4)