CELT document E850006-001

Poems by William Allingham

William Allingham

Poems by William Allingham

    These little Songs

     p.23
  1. These little Songs,
    Found here and there,
    Floating in air
    By forest and lea,
    Or hill-side heather,
    In houses and throngs,
    Or down by the sea—
    Have come together,
    How, I can't tell:
    But I know full well
    No witty goose-wing
    On an inkstand begot 'em;
    Remember each place
    And moment of grace,
    In summer or spring,
    Winter or autumn
    By sun, moon, stars,
    Or a coal in the bars,
    In market or church,
    Graveyard or dance,
    When they came without search,
    Were found as by chance.
    A word, a line,
    You may say are mine;
    But the best in the songs,
    Whatever it be,
    To you, and to me,
    And to no one belongs.
  2. The Fairies

     p.24
  3. Up the airy mountain,
    Down the rushy glen,
    We daren't go a-hunting
    For fear of little men;
    Wee folk, good folk,
    Trooping all together;
    Green jacket, red cap,
    And white owl's feather!
  4. Down along the rocky shore
    Some make their home,
    They live on crispy pancakes
    Of yellow tide-foam;
    Some in the reeds
    Of the black mountain lake,
    With frogs for their watch-dogs,
    All night awake.
  5. High on the hill-top
    The old King sits;
    He is now so old and gray
    He's nigh lost his wits.
    With a bridge of white mist
    Columbkill he crosses,
    On his stately journeys
    From Slieveleague to Rosses; p.25
    Or going up with music
    On cold starry nights,
    To sup with the Queen
    Of the gay Northern Lights.
  6. They stole little Bridget
    For seven years long;
    When she came down again
    Her friends were all gone.
    They took her lightly back,
    Between the night and morrow,
    They thought that she was fast asleep,
    But she was dead with sorrow.
    They have kept her ever since
    Deep within the lake,
    On a bed of flag-leaves,
    Watching till she wake.
  7. By the craggy hill-side,
    Through the mosses bare,
    They have planted thorn-trees
    For pleasure here and there.
    Is any man so daring
    As dig them up in spite,
    He shall find their sharpest thorns
    In his bed at night.
  8. Up the airy mountain,
    Down the rushy glen, p.26
    We daren't go a-hunting
    For fear of little men;
    Wee folk, good folk,
    Trooping all together;
    Green jacket, red cap,
    And white owl's feather!
  9.  p.27

    Wishing

  10. Ring-ting! I wish I were a Primrose,
    A bright yellow Primrose blowing in the Spring!
    The stooping boughs above me,
    The wandering bee to love me,
    The fern and moss to creep across
    And the Elm-tree for our King!
  11. Nay—stay! I wish I were an Elm-tree,
    A great lofty Elm-tree, with green leaves gay!
    The winds would set them dancing,
    The sun and moonshine glance in,
    The birds would house among the boughs,
    And sweetly sing!
  12. O—no! I wish I were a Robin,
    A Robin or a little Wren, everywhere to go;
    Through forest, field, or garden,
    And ask no leave or pardon,
    Till Winter comes with icy thumbs
    To ruffle up our wing!
  13. Well—tell! Where should I fly to,
    Where go to sleep in the dark wood or dell?
    Before a day was over,
    Home comes the rover,
    For Mother's kiss,—sweeter this
    Than any other thing!
  14.  p.28

    The Lover and the Birds

  15. Within a budding grove,
    In April's ear sang every bird his best,
    But not a song to pleasure my unrest,
    Or touch the tears unwept of bitter love;
    Some spake, methought, with pity, some as if in jest.
    To every word
    Of every bird
    I listen'd, and replied as it behove.
  16. Scream'd Chaffinch, 'Sweet, sweet, sweet!
    Pretty lovey, come and meet me here!'
    'Chaffinch,' quoth I, 'be dumb awhile, in fear
    Thy darling prove no better than a cheat,
    And never come, or fly when wintry days appear.'
    Yet from a twig,
    With voice so big,
    The little fowl his utterance did repeat.
  17. Then I, 'The man forlorn
    Hears Earth send up a foolish noise aloft.'
    'And what'll he do? What'll he do?' scoff'd
    The Blackbird, standing, in an ancient thorn,
    Then spread his sooty wings and flitted to the croft
    With cackling laugh;
    Whom I, being half
    Enraged, called after, giving back his scorn.
  18.  p.29
  19. Worse mock'd the Thrush, 'Die! die!
    Oh, could he do it? could he do it? Nay!
    Be quick! be quick! Here, here, here!' (went his lay.)
    'Take heed! take heed!' then 'Why? why? why? why? why?
    See-ee now! see-ee now!' (he drawl'd) 'Back! back! back! R-r-r-run away!'
    O Thrush, be still!
    Or at thy will,
    Seek some less sad interpreter than I.
  20. 'Air, air! blue air and white!
    Whither I flee, whither, O whither, O whither I flee!'
    (Thus the Lark hurried, mounting from the lea)
    'Hills, countries, many waters glittering bright,
    Whither I see, whither I see! deeper, deeper, deeper, whither I see, see, see!'
    'Gay Lark,' I said,
    'The song that's bred
    In happy nest may well to heaven make flight.'
  21. 'There's something, something sad,
    I half remember'—piped a broken strain.
    Well sung, sweet Robin! Robin sung again.
    'Spring's opening cheerily, cheerily! be we glad!'
    Which moved, I wist not why, me melancholy mad,
    Till now, grown meek,
    With wetted cheek,
    Most comforting and gentle thoughts I had.
  22.  p.30

    Lovely Mary Donnelly

  23. Oh, lovely Mary Donnelly, my joy, my only best!
    If fifty girls were round you, I'd hardly see the rest;
    Be what it may the time o' day, the place be where it will
    Sweet looks o' Mary Donnelly, they bloom before me still.
  24. Her eyes like mountain water that's flowing on a rock,
    How clear they are, how dark they are! they give me many a shock.
    Red rowans warm in sunshine and wetted with a shower,
    Could ne'er express the charming lip that has me in its power.
  25. Her nose is straight and handsome, her eyebrows lifted up,
    Her chin is very neat and pert, and smooth like a china cup,
    Her hair's the brag of Ireland, so weighty and so fine;
    It's rolling down upon her neck, and gathered in a twine.
  26. The dance o' last Whit-Monday night exceeded all before,
    No pretty girl from miles about was missing from the floor;
    But Mary kept the belt of love, and O but she was gay!
    She danced a jig, she sung a song, that took my heart away.
  27.  p.31
  28. When she stood up for dancing, her steps were so complete,
    The music nearly killed itself to her feet;
    The fiddler mourned his blindness, he heard her so much praised,
    But blessed his luck not to be deaf when once her voice she raised.
  29. And evermore I'm whistling or lilting what you sung,
    Your smile is always in my heart, your name beside my tongue;
    But you've as many sweethearts as you'd count on both your hands,
    And for myself there's not a thumb or little finger stands.
  30. Oh, you're the flower o' womankind in country or in town;
    The higher I exalt you, the lower I'm cast down.
    If some great lord should come this way, and see your beauty bright.
    And you to be his lady, I'd own it was but right.
  31. Oh, might we live together in a lofty palace hall,
    Where joyful music rises, and where scarlet curtains fall!
    Oh, might we live together in a cottage mean and small,
    With sods or grass the only roof, and mud the only wall!
  32.  p.32
  33. O lovely Mary Donnelly, your beauty's my distress,
    It's far too beauteous to be mine, but I'll never wish it less.
    The proudest place would fit your face, and I am poor and low;
    But blessings be about you, dear, wherever you may go!
  34.  p.33

    Among the Heather

  35. One morning, walking out, I o'ertook a modest colleen,
    When the wind was blowing cool and the harvest leaves were falling.
    "Is our road perchance the same? Might we travel on together?"
    "Oh, I keep the mountainside," she replied, "among the heather."
  36. "Your mountain air is sweet when the days are long and sunny,
    When the grass grows round the rocks, and the whin-bloom smells like honey;
    But the winter's coming fast with its foggy, snowy weather,
    And you'll find it bleak and chill on your hill among the heather."
  37. She praised her mountain home, and I'll praise it too with reason,
    For where Molly is there's sunshine and flowers at every season.
    Be the moorland black or white, does it signify a feather?
    Now I know the way by heart, every part among the heather.
  38.  p.34
  39. The sun goes down in haste, and the night falls thick and stormy,
    Yet I'd travel twenty miles for the welcome that's before me.
    Singing hi for Eskydun, in the teeth of wind and weather.
    Love'll warm me as I go through the snow, among the heather.
  40.  p.35

    The Girl's Lamentation

  41. With grief and mourning I sit to spin;
    My Love passed by, and he didn't come in;
    He passes by me, both day and night,
    And carries off my poor heart's delight.
  42. There is a tavern in yonder town,
    My Love goes there and he spends a crown;
    He takes a strange girl upon his knee,
    And never more gives a thought to me.
  43. Says he, 'We'll wed without loss of time,
    And sure our love's but a little crime;'—
    My apron-string now it's wearing short,
    And my Love he seeks other girls to court.
  44. O with him I'd go if I had my will,
    I'd follow him barefoot o'er rock and hill;
    I'd never once speak of all my grief
    If he'd give me a smile for my heart's relief.
  45. In our wee garden the rose unfolds,
    With bachelor's-buttons and marigolds;
    I'll tie no posies for dance or fair,
    A willow-twig is for me to wear.
  46. For a maid again I can never be,
    Till the red rose blooms on the willow tree.
    Of such a trouble I've heard them tell,
    And now I know what it means full well.
  47.  p.36
  48. As through the long lonesome night I lie,
    I'd give the world if I might but cry;
    But I mus'n't moan there or raise my voice,
    And the tears run down without any noise.
  49. And what, O what will my mother say?
    She'll wish her daughter was in the clay.
    My father will curse me to my face;
    The neighbours will know of my black disgrace.
  50. My sister's buried three years, come Lent;
    But sure we made far too much lament.
    Beside her grave they still say a prayer—
    I wish to God 'twas myself was there!
  51. The Candlemas crosses hang near my bed;
    To look at them puts me much in dread,
    They mark the good time that's gone and past:
    It's like this year's one will prove the last.
  52. The oldest cross it's a dusty brown,
    But the winter winds didn't shake it down;
    The newest cross keeps the colour bright;
    When the straw was reaping my heart was light.
  53. The reapers rose with the blink of morn,
    And gaily stook'd up the yellow corn;
    To call them home to the field I'd run,
    Through the blowing breeze and the summer sun.
  54.  p.37
  55. When the straw was weaving my heart was glad,
    For neither sin nor shame I had,
    In the barn where oat-chaff was flying round,
    And the thumping flails made a pleasant sound.
  56. Now summer or winter to me it's one;
    But Oh! for a day like the time that's gone.
    I'd little care was it storm or shine,
    If I had but peace in this heart of mine.
  57. Oh! light and false is a young man's kiss,
    And a foolish girl gives her soul for this.
    Oh! light and short is the young man's blame,
    And a helpless girl has the grief and shame.
  58. To the river-bank once I thought to go,
    And cast myself in the stream below;
    I thought 'twould carry us far out to sea,
    Where they'd never find my poor babe and me.
  59. Sweet Lord, forgive me that wicked mind!
    You know I used to be well-inclined.
    Oh, take compassion upon my state,
    Because my trouble is so very great.
  60. My head turns round with the spinning wheel,
    And a heavy cloud on my eyes I feel.
    But the worst of all is at my heart's core;
    For my innocent days will come back no more.
  61.  p.38

    Adieu to Belshanny 1

  62. Adieu to Belashanny! where I was bred and born;
    Go where I may, I'll think of you, as sure as night and morn.
    The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known,
    And not a face in all the place but partly seems my own;
    There's not a house or window, there's not a field or hill,
    But, east or west, in foreign lands, I recollect them still.
    I leave my warm heart with you, tho' my back I'm forced to turn
    Adieu to Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne!
  63. No more on pleasant evenings we'll saunter down the Mall,
    When the trout is rising to the fly, the salmon to the fall.
    The boat comes straining on her net, and heavily she creeps,
    Cast off, cast off— she feels the oars, and to her berth she sweeps;
    Now fore and aft keep hauling, and gathering up the clew,
    Till a silver wave of salmon rolls in among the crew. p.39
    Then they may sit, with pipes a-lit, and many a joke and “yarn”;—
    Adieu to Belashanny; and the winding banks of Erne!
  64. The music of the waterfall, the mirror of the tide,
    When all the greenhill'd harbour is full from side to side,
    From Portnasun to Bulliebawns, and round the Abbey Bay,
    From rocky Inis Saimer to Coolnargit sand-hills gray;
    While far upon the southern line, to guard it like a wall,
    The Leitrim mountains clothed in blue gaze calmly over all,
    And watch the ship sail up or down, the red flag at her stern;—
    Adieu to these, adieu to all the winding banks of Erne!
  65. Farewell to you, Kildoney lads, and them that pull an oar,
    A lug-sail set, or haul a net, from the Point to Mullaghmore;
    From Killybegs to bold Slieve-League, that ocean-Mountain steep,
    Six hundred yards in air aloft, six hundred in the deep, p.40
    From Dooran to the Fairy Bridge, and round by Tullen strand,
    Level and long, and white with waves, where gull and curlew stand;
    Head out to sea when on your lee the breakers you discern!—
    Adieu to all the billowy coast, and winding banks of Erne!
  66. Farewell, Coolmore—Bundoran! And your summer crowds that run
    From inland homes to see with joy th'Atlantic-setting sun;
    To breathe the buoyant salted air, and sport among the waves;
    To gather shells on sandy beach, and tempt the gloomy caves;
    To watch the flowing, ebbing tide, the boats, the crabs, the fish;
    Young men and maids to meet and smile, and form a tender wish;
    The sick and old in search of health, for all things have their turn—
    And I must quit my native shore, and the winding banks of Erne!
  67.  p.41
  68. Farewell to every white cascade from the Harbour to Belleek,
    And every pool where fins may rest, and ivy-shaded creek;
    The sloping fields, the lofty rocks, where ash and holly grow,
    The one split yew-tree gazing on the curving flood below;
    The Lough, that winds through islands under Turaw mountain green;
    And Castle Caldwell's stretching woods, with tranquil bays between;
    And Breesie Hill, and many a pond among the heath and fern,—
    For I must say adieu—adieu to the winding banks of Erne!
  69. The thrush will call through Camlin groves the live-long summer day;
    The waters run by mossy cliff, and banks with wild flowers gay;
    The girls will bring their work and sing beneath a twisted thorn,
    Or stray with sweethearts down the path among growing corn; p.42
    Along the river-side they go, where I have often been,
    O, never shall I see again the days that I have seen!
    A thousand chances are to one I never may return,—
    Adieu to Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne!
  70. Adieu to evening dances, when merry neighbours meet,
    And the fiddle says to boys and girls, “Get up and shake your feet!”
    To shanachus and wise old talk of Erin's days gone by—
    Who trench'd the rath on such a hill, and where the bones may lie
    Of saint, or king, or warrior chief; with tales of fairy power,
    And tender ditties sweetly sung to pass the twilight hour.
    The mournful song of exile is now for me to learn—
    Adieu, my dear companions on the winding banks of Erne!
  71. Now measure from the Commons down to each end of the Purt,
    Round the Abbey, Moy, and Knather— I wish no one any hurt;
    The Main Street, Back Street, College Lane, the Mall,and Portnasun, p.43
    If any foes of mine are there, I pardon every one.
    I hope that man and womankind will do the same by me;
    For my heart is sore and heavy at voyaging the sea.
    My loving friends I'll bear in mind, and often fondly turn
    To think of Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne.
  72. If ever I'm a money'd man, I mean, please God, to cast
    My golden anchor in the place where youthful years were pass'd;
    Though heads that now are black and brown must meanwhile gather gray,
    New faces rise by every hearth, and old ones drop away—
    Yet dearer still that Irish hill than all the world beside;
    It's home, sweet home, where'er I roam, through lands and waters wide.
    And if the Lord allows me, I surely will return
    To my native Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne.
  73.  p.49

    After Sunset

  74. The vast and solemn company of clouds
    Around the Sun's death, lit, incarnadined,
    Cool into ashy wan; as Night enshrouds
    The level pasture, creeping up behind
    Through voiceless vales, o'er lawn and purpled hill
    And haséd mead, her mystery to fulfil.
    Cows low from far-off farms; the loitering wind
    Sighs in the hedge, you hear it if you will,—
    Tho' all the wood, alive atop with wings
    Lifting and sinking through the leafy nooks,
    Seethes with the clamour of a thousand rooks.
    Now every sound at length is hush'd away.
    These few are sacred moments. One more Day
    Drops in the shadowy gulf of bygone things.
  75.  p.50

    In a Spring Grove

  76. Here the white-ray'd anemone is born,
    Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup;
    And primrose in its purfled green swathed up,
    Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn,
    Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.
    Here, too, the darting linnet hath her nest
    In the blue-lustered holly, never shorn,
    Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast,
    Piping from some near bough. O simple song!
    O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,
    And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng
    The vernal world, and unexhausted seas
    Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,
    Each and all these,—and more, and more than these!
  77.  p.51

    Autumnal Sunset

  78. Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,
    And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,
    And night by night the monitory blast
    Wails in the key-hole, telling how it pass'd
    O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes,
    Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt
    Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods
    Than any joy indulgent summer dealt.
    Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve,
    Pensive and glad, with tones that recognise
    The soft invisible dew in each one's eyes,
    It may be, somewhat thus we shall have leave
    To walk with memory, when distant lies
    Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve.
  79.  p.52

    Late Autumn

  80. October,— and the skies are cool and grey
    O'er stubbles emptied of their latest sheaf,
    Bare meadow, and the slowly falling leaf.
    The dignity of woods in rich decay
    Accords full well with this majestic grief
    That clothes our solemn purple hills to-day,
    Whose afternoon is hush'd, and wintry brief.
    Only a robin sings from any spray.
    And night sends up her pale cold moon, and spills
    White mist around the hollows of the hills,
    Phantoms of firth or lake; the peasant sees
    His cot and stockyard, with the homestead trees,
    In-islanded; but no vain terror thrills
    His perfect harvesting; he sleeps at ease.
  81.  p.53

    Long Delayed

  82. Oft have I search'd the weary world in vain,
    And all the rest find love and peace of heart,
    but I can only find a sluggish pain,
    As one by one the sombre days depart,
    Presenting many a toy and useless gain:
    Sweet friend, my longing, wheresoe'er thou art,
    O come at length! out of thine ambush start!
    The light on field and hill begins to wane.
  83. O dreaming fool (I said), have done, have done!
    How should a miracle be wrought for thee?—
    When lo, joy came, like verdure to a tree
    That, long time stretching wintry arms aloft,
    Replied to a day of vernal sun
    With multitudes of leaflets green and soft.
  84.  p.54

    A Day of Days

  85. Each rose before the sun, and saw the moon
    A slender golden curvature embost
    On he green eastern sky, which brighten'd soon
    Till in its crimson wavelets she was lost,
    And so began a perfect Day of June.
    The river sparkled, birds voiced, breezes tost
    A laughing world of flow'rs; blue shadows crost
    The sunshine of the long warm afternoon.
  86. But who inherited this wondrous Day?
    Two happy Lovers. It was made for them,
    Of time not measured by the moon or sun
    Both felt that it would never pass away.
    And now, when music in the dusk was done,
    King Love had all the stars for diadem.
  87.  p.55

    In Snow

  88. O English mother, in the ruddy glow
    Hugging your baby closer when outside
    You see the silent, soft, and cruel snow
    Falling again, and think whaat ills betide
    Unshelter'd creatures,— your sad thoughts may go
    Where War and Winter now, two spectre-wolves,
    Hunt in the freezing vapour that involves
    Those Asian peaks of ice and gulfs below.
    Does this young soldier heed the snow that fills
    His mouth and open eyes? or mind, in truth,
    To-night,his mother's parting syllables?
    Ha! Is't a red coat?—Merely blood. Keep ruth
    for others; this is but an Afghan youth
    Shot by the stranger on his native hills.
  89.  p.58

    A Memory or “Four Ducks on a Pond”

  90. Four ducks on a pond,
    A grass-bank beyond,
    A blue sky of spring,
    White clouds on the wing;
    What a little thing
    To remember for years—
    To remember with tears!
  91.  p.59

    2

  92. See once again our village; with its street
    Dozing in dusty sunshine. All around
    Is silence; save, for slumber not unmeet,
    Some spinning-wheel's continuous whirring sound
    From cottage door, where, stretch'd upon his side,
    the moveless dog is basking, drowsy-eyed.
  93. See hollyhocks that rise above a wall
    Sleep in the richness of their crusted blooms;
    Up the hot glass the sluggish blue flies crawl;
    The heavy bee is humming into rooms
    Through open window, like a sturdy rover,
    Bringing with him warm scents of thyme and clover.
  94. With herb and flow'r you smell the ripening fruit
    In cottage gardens, on the sultry air;
    But every bird has vanish'd, hiding mute
    In eave and hedgerow; save that here and there
    With twitter swift, the sole unrestful thing,
    Shoots the dark lightning of a swallow's wing.
  95.  p.60

    The Abbot of Inisfallen

  96. The Abbot of Inisfalen
    Awoke ere dawn of day;
    Under the dewy green leaves
    Went he forth to pray.
  97. The lake around his island
    Lay smooth and dark and deep,
    And wrapt in misty stillness
    The mountains were all asleep.
  98. Low kneel'd the Abbot Cormac,
    When the dawn was dim and gray;
    The prayers of his holy office
    He faithfully 'gan say.
  99. Low kneel'd the Abbot Cormac,
    When the dawn was waxing red;
    And for his sins forgiveness
    A solemn prayer he said:
  100. Low kneel'd that holy Abbot,
    When the dawn was waxing clear;
    And he pray'd with loving kindness
    For his convent-brethren dear.
  101.  p.61
  102. Low kneel'd that blessed Abbot,
    When the dawn was waxing bright;
    He pray'd a great prayer for Ireland,
    He pray'd with all his might.
  103. Low kneel'd that good old Father,
    While the sun began to dart;
    He pray'd a prayer for all mankind,
    He pray'd it from his heart.
  104. The Abbot of Inisfalen
    Arose upon his feet;
    He heard a small bird singing,
    And O but it sung sweet!
  105. He heard a white bird singing well
    Within a holly-tree;
    A song so sweet and happy
    Never before heard he.
  106. It sung upon a hazel,
    It sung upon a thorn;
    He had never heard such music
    Since the hour that he was born.
  107. It sung upon a sycamore,
    It sung upon a briar;
    To follow the song and hearken
    This Abbot could never tire.
  108.  p.62
  109. Till at last he well bethought him;
    He might no longer stay;
    So he bless'd the little white singing-bird,
    And gladly went his way.
  110. But, when he came to his Abbey walls,
    He found a wondrous change;
    he saw no friendly faces there,
    For every face was strange.
  111. The strange men spoke unto him;
    And he heard from all and each
    The foreign tongue of the Sassenach,
    Not wholesome Irish speech.
  112. Then the oldest monk came forward
    In Irish tongue spake he:
    'Thou wearest the holy Augustine's dress,
    And who hath given it to thee?'
  113. I wear the holy Augustine's dress,
    And Cormac is my name
    The Abbot of this good Abbey
    By grace of God I am.
  114. 'I went forth to pray, at the dawn of day;
    And when my prayers were said, p.63
    I hearken'd awhile to a little bird,
    That sung above my head.'
  115. The monk to him made answer,
    'Two hundred yeas have gone o'er,
    Since our Abbot Cormac went through the gate,
    And never was heard of more.'
  116. 'Matthias now is our Abbot,
    And twenty have pass'd away.
    The stranger is lord of Ireland;
    We live in an evil day.'
  117. 'Now give me absolution;
    For my time is come,' said he.
    And they gave him absolution,
    As speeddily as might be.
  118. Then, close outside the window,
    The sweetest song they heard
    That ever yet since the world began
    Was utter'd by any bird.
  119. The monks looked out and saw the bird,
    Its feathers all white and clean;
    And there in a moment beside it,
    Another white bird was seen.
  120.  p.64
  121. Those two they sang together,
    Waved their white wings and fled:
    Flew aloft, and vanish'd;
    But the good old man was dead.
  122. They buried his blessed body
    Where lake and greensward meet;
    A carven cross abovehis head,
    A holly-bush at his feet.
  123. Where spreads the beautiful water
    To gay or cloudy skies,
    And the purple peaks of Killarney
    From ancient woods arise.
  124.  p.77

    The Eviction

  125. In early morning twilight, raw and chill,
    Damp vapours brooding on the barren hill,
    Through miles of mire in steady grave array
    Threescore well-arm'd police pursue their way;
    Each tall and bearded man a rifle swings,
    And under each greatcoat a bayonet clings:
    The Sheriff on his sturdy cob astride
    Talks with the chief, who marches by their side,
    And, creeping on behind them, Paudeen Dhu
    Pretends his needful duty much to rue.
    Six big-boned labourers, clad in common freize,
    Walk in the midst, the Sheriff's staunch allies;
    Six crowbar men, from distant county brought,—
    Orange, and glorying in their work, 'tis thought, p.78
    But wrongly—churls of Catholics are they,
    And merely hired at half a crown a day.
  126. The hamlet clustering on its hill is seen,
    A score of petty homesteads, dark and mean;
    Poor always, not despairing until now;
    Long used, as well as poverty knows how,
    With life's oppressive trifles to contend.
    This day will bring its history to an end.
    Moveless and grim against the cottage walls
    Lean a few silent men: but someone calls
    Far off; and then a child “without a stitch”
    Runs out of doors, flies back with piercing screech,
    And soon from house to house is heard the cry
    Of female sorrow, swelling loud and high,
    Which makes the men blaspheme between their teeth.
    Meanwhile, o'er fence and watery field beneath,
    The little army moves through drizzling rain;
    A 'Crowbar' leads the Sheriff's nag; the lane
    Is enter'd, and their plashing tramp draws near,
    One instant, outcry holds its breath to hear
    “Halt!”— at the doors they form in double line,
    And ranks of polish'd rifles wetly shine.
  127. The Sheriff's painful duty must be done;
    He begs for quiet—and the work's begun.
    The strong stand ready; now appear the rest,
    Girl, matron, grandsire, baby on the breast, p.79
    And Rosy's thin face on a pallet borne;
    A motley concourse, feeble and forlorn.
    One old man, tears upon his wrinkled cheek,
    Stands trembling on a threshold, tries to speak,
    But, in defect of any word for this,
    Mutely upon the doorpost prints a kiss,
    Then passes out for ever. Through the crowd
    The children run bewilder'd, wailing loud;
    Where needed most, the men combine their aid;
    And, last of all, is Oona forth convey'd,
    Reclined in her accustom'd strawen chair,
    Her aged eyelids closed, her thick white hair
    Escaping from her cap; she feels the chill,
    Looks round and murmurs, then again is still.
    Now bring the remnants of each household fire;
    On the wet ground the hissing coals expire;
    And Paudeen Dhu, with meekly dismal face,
    Receives the full possession of the place.
  128. Whereon the Sheriff, 'We have legal hold
    Return to the shelter with the sick and old.
    Time shall be given; and there are carts below
    If any to the workhouse choose to go'.
    A young man makes him answer, grave and clear,
    'We're thankful to you! but there's no one here
    Goin' back into them houses: do your part.
    Nor we won't trouble Pigot's horse and cart.'
    At which name, rushing into the open space,
    A woman flings a hood from off her face, p.80
    Falls on her knees upon the miry ground,
    Lifts hands and eyes, and voice of thrilling sound,—
    'James Pigot!—may the poor man's curse pursue,
    The widow's and the orphan's curse, I pray,
    Hang heavy round you at your dying day!'
    Breathless and fix'd one moment stands the crowd
    To hear this malediction fierce and loud.
  129. But now (our neighbour Neal is busy there)
    On steady poles he lifted Oona's chair,
    Well-heap'd with borrow'd mantles; gently bear
    The sick girl in her litter, bed and all;
    Whilst others hug the children weak and small
    In careful arms, or hoist them pick-a-back;
    And, 'midst the unrelenting clink and thwack
    Of iron bar on stone, let creep away
    The sad procession from that hill-side gray,
    Through the slow-falling rain. In three hours more
    You find, where Ballytullagh stood before,
    Mere shatter'd walls, and doors with useless latch,
    And firesides buried under fallen thatch.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Poems by William Allingham

Author: William Allingham

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Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

proof corrections by: Laura Harmon

Funded by: The HEA and University College, Cork

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 6665 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2008

Date: 2011

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E850006-001

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

The Fairies was written in 1849. Lovely Mary Donnelly, The Girl's Lamentation, and Among the Heather were songs written for ballad singers in 1852. Adieu to Belashanny, also known as The Winding Banks of Erne, or The Emigrant's adieu to Ballyshannon, was published in Fifty Modern Poems (1865). The Abbot of Inisfalen was published in Songs, Ballads and Stories (1877) in ballad stanzas, and in long lines in Irish Songs and Poems (1887).

Source description

Allingham's Works

  1. William Allingham, Poems (London: Chapman & Hall 1850).
  2. William Allingham, Day and Night Songs (London: Routledge 1854).
  3. William Allingham, Peace and War (London: Routledge 1854).
  4. William Allingham, The Music Master (London: Routledge 1854).
  5. William Allingham, The Ballad Book: A Selection of the Choicest British Ballads [Golden Treasury Series] (London: Macmillan 1864).
  6. William Allingham, Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland: A Modern Poem (London: Macmillan 1864, 1869; reprinted New York: AMS 1972).
  7. William Allingham, Fifty Modern Poems (London: Bell & Daldy 1865).
  8. William Allingham, In Fairyland: A Series of Pictures by Richard Doyle with a Poem by William Allingham (London: Longmans, Green 1870).
  9. William Allingham, Songs, Ballads and Stories (London: George Bell & Sons 1877).
  10. William Allingham, Evil May-Day (London: David Stott 1883).
  11. William Allingham, Ashby Manor: A Play in Two Acts (London: David Stott 1883). [Historical drama].
  12. William Allingham, The Fairies (London: De La Rue 1883).
  13. William Allingham, Blackberries: Picked Off Many Bushes, by D. Pollex and Others; Put in a Basket by W. Allingham (London: Philip & Son 1884).
  14. Rhymes for the Young Folk. (London: Cassell 1887).
  15. William Allingham, Irish Songs and Poems, with Nine Airs Harmonised for Voice and Pianoforte (London: Reeves & Turner 1887).
  16. William Allingham, Flower Pieces and Other Poems (London: Reeves & Turner 1888).
  17. William Allingham, Life and Phantasy (London: Reeves & Turner 1889).
  18. William Allingham, Thought and Word, and Ashby Manor (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  19. William Allingham, Blackberries. Revised (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  20. William Allingham, Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland. Revised (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  21. William Allingham, Varieties in Prose (London: Longmans Green 1893). [Collected Prose].
  22. William Allingham, Sixteen poems by William Allingham, selected by William Butler Yeats. (Dundrum: Dun Emer Press, Dundrum 1905.) Published by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats. [Photo-lithographic reprint published 1971 by IUP.]
  23. William Allingham: A Diary, ed. Helen Allingham and Dollie Radford (London:Macmillan 1907).
  24. William Allingham, Poems of William Allingham, selected and arranged by Helen Allingham. (London: Macmillan 1912).
  25. William Allingham, By the Way: Verses, Fragments, and Notes, ed. Helen Allingham (London: Longmans, Green 1912).
  26. William Allingham, William Allingham's diary; introduction by Geoffrey Grigson (London: Centaur 1967).
  27. The poems of William Allingham, ed. with an introduction by John Hewitt. An Comhairle Ealaíon Series of Irish authors. (Dublin: Dolmen 1967).

Secondary Literature

  1. Hans Kropf, William Allingham und seine Dichtung im Lichte der irischen Freiheitsbewegung. Inaugural-Dissertation (Biel 1928).
  2. J. Lyle Donaghy, 'William Allingham'. In: Dublin Magazine 20:2 (1945) 34–38.
  3. P. S. O'Hegarty, A bibliography of William Allingham. [Reprinted from the Dublin Magazine of Jan–March and July–Sept. 1945] (Dublin: A. Thom & Co. 1945).
  4. William Irwin Patrick McDonogh, The life and work of William Allingham. [Unpublished PhD Thesis, Trinity College Dublin 1952, Dept. of English.]
  5. Hugh Shields, 'William Allingham and folk song'. In: Hermathena 117 (1974), 23–36.
  6. Patricia Mary England, The poetry of William Allingham. [Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Birmingham 1976, Dept of English.]
  7. Alan Warner, William Allingham: an introduction. (Dublin: Dolmen 1971) [Includes a selection of Allingham's poems.]
  8. Alan Warner, William Allingham. (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press 1975).
  9. Alan Warner, 'William Allingham: Bibliographical Survey.' Irish Book Lore 2 (1976): 303–307.
  10. Samira Aghacy Husni, William Allingham: an annotated bibliography. Beirut, Lebanese Establishment for Publishing & Printing Services, c 1984.
  11. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: some uncollected authors lvi. Part 1'. Book Collector 39 (Summer 1991) 174–204.
  12. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: some uncollected authors lvi. Part 2'. Book Collector 39 (Autumn 1991) 321–349.
  13. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: a bibliographical study. (Philadelphia: Holmes 1993).
  14. Malcolm McClure, 'Biographical note: the Allinghams of Ballyshannon' [An interim report]. Donegal Annual 52 (2000) 87–89.

Literary Background

  1. Letters to William Allingham, edited by H. Allingham (London: Longmans 1911), reprinted (New York: AMS Press 1971).
  2. G. B. N. Hill, ed., The letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham, 1854–1870 (1897).

Allingham, William (1967). ‘The Poems of William Allingham’. In: The Poems of William Allingham‍. Ed. by John Hewitt. 23 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland: Dolmen Press, pp. 23–43, 49–55, 58, 60–64, 77–80.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

@incollection{E850006-001,
  author 	 = {William Allingham},
  title 	 = {The Poems of William Allingham},
  editor 	 = {John Hewitt},
  booktitle 	 = {The Poems of William Allingham},
  publisher 	 = {Dolmen Press},
  address 	 = {23 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland},
  date 	 = {1967},
  pages 	 = {23–43; 49–55; 58; 60–64; 77–80}
}

 E850006-001.bib

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A selection of poems.

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Creation: Between 1849 and 1877

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  • The text is in English. (en)
  • Some words are in Irish, however in anglicised spelling. (ga)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19c

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2008-08-28: File validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-08-03: Header updated, encoding reviewed, file reparsed, new SGM and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2008-07-26: Value of div0 "type" attribute modified, addition to bibliography made, content of 'langUsage' revised; minor modifications made to header. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2008-06-08: SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2008-06-05: Structural markup checked and added to; header created with bibliographical details. File parsed. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 2008-05-22: File proofed (1) structural and content markup applied. (ed. Laura Harmon)
  7. 2008-05-20: Text captured by scanning. (ed. Laura Harmon)

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  1. Also known as The Winding Banks of Erne, or the Emigrant's Adieu to Belshanny 🢀

  2. from The Music-maker 🢀

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