CELT document E900010-001

Selected poems by John Millington Synge

John Millington Synge

Selected poems by John Millington Synge

    1. In Kerry

  1. We heard the thrushes by the shore and sea,
    And saw the golden stars' nativity,
    Then round we went the lane by Thomas Flynn,
    Across the church where bones lie out and in;
    And there I asked beneath a lonely cloud
    Of strange delight, with one bird singing loud,
    What change you'd wrought in graveyard, rock and sea,
    This new wild paradise to wake for me...
    Yet knew no more than knew those merry sins
    Had built this stack of thigh-bones, jaws and shins.
  2.  p.14

    2. On an Anniversary

    After reading the dates in a book of Lyrics

  3. With Fifteen-ninety or Sixteen-sixteen
    We end Cervantes, Marot, Nashe or Green;
    Then Sixteen-thirteen till two score and nine,
    Is Crashaw's niche, that honey-lipped divine.
    And so when all my little work is done
    They'll say I came in Eighteen-seventy-one,
    And died in Dublin ... What year will they write
    For my poor passage to the stall of night?
  4.  p.15

    3. To the Oaks of Glencree

  5. My arms are round you, and I lean
    Against you, while the lark
    Sings over us, and golden lights, and green
    Shadows are on your bark.
  6. There'll come a season when you'll stretch
    Black boards to cover me;
    Then in Mount Jerome I will lie, poorwretch,
    With worms eternally.
  7.  p.18

    4. In Glencullen

  8. Thrush, linnet, stare and wren,
    Brown lark beside the sun,
    Take thought of kestril, sparrow-hawk,
    Birdlime and roving gun.
  9. You great-great-grandchildren
    Of birds I've listened to,
    I think I robbed your ancestors
    When I was young as you.
  10.  p.19

    5. I've Thirty Months

  11. I've thirty months, and that's my pride,
    Before my age's a double score,
    Though many lively men have died
    At twenty-nine or little more.
  12. I've left a long and famous set
    Behind some seven years or three,
    But there are millions I'd forget
    Will have their laugh at passing me.

  13. 25, ix, 1908. p.24

    6. Winter

    With little money in a great city

  14. There's snow in every street
    Where I go up and down,
    And there's no woman man or dog
    That knows me in the town.
  15. I know each shop, and all
    These Jews and Russian Poles,
    For I go walking night and noon
    To spare my sack of coals.
  16.  p.25

    7. The Curse

    To the sister of an enemy of the author's who disapproved of The Playboy of the Western World

  17. Lord, confound this surly sister,
    Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
    Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
    In her guts a galling give her.
  18. Let her live to earn her dinners
    In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
    Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
    And I'm your servant, J. M. Synge.

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): Selected poems by John Millington Synge

Author: John Millington Synge

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by: Benjamin Hazard

Funded by: University College, Cork and The Higher Education Authority via the CELT Project.

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 1230 words

Publication statement

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

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

Date: 2004

Date: 2008

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

CELT document ID: E900010-001

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

Source description


  • John Millington Synge, Poems and translations (Dublin 1920).


  1. John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World, a comedy in three acts (Boston 1911).
  2. Augusta Gregory, Our Irish theatre (London 1914).
  3. William Butler Yeats, The death of Synge, and other passages from an old diary (Dublin 1928).
  4. Daniel Corkery, Synge and Anglo-Irish literature: a study (Cork 1931).
  5. Robin Skelton and Alan Price (eds.), Synge: the collected works (4 volumes) (Oxford 1962-68).
  6. Nicholas Greene, Synge: a critical study of the plays (London 1975).
  7. Diarmaid Ó Muirithe (ed.), The English language in Ireland (Thomas Davis Lecture Series), (Cork 1977).
  8. Robert Hogan and James Kilroy, The Abbey Theatre: the years of Synge 1905-1909 (Dublin 1978).
  9. Alan Bliss, Spoken English in Ireland: the background to the literature, 1600-1740 (Portlaoise 1979).
  10. G. J. Watson, Irish identity and the literary revival: Synge, Yeats, Joyce and O'Casey (London 1979).
  11. David H. Greene and Edward M. Stephens, John Millington Synge 1871-1909 (New York 1989).
  12. Bariou, Michel. 'À la "Belle Époque" du celtisme: le théâtre populaire et l'œuvre en prose de J. M. Synge. Ses analogies avec l'œuvre critique et romanesque d'Anatole Le Braz', in Catherine Laurent, Helen Davis (ed.) Irlande et Bretagne: vingt siècles d'histoire: actes du colloque de Rennes (29-31 mars 1993) Rennes: 1994 250-61.
  13. Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland (London 1995).
  14. Seán Ó Tuama, Repossessions: selected essays on the Irish literary heritage (Cork 1995).
  15. Anthony Roche and Augustine Martin (eds.), Bearing witness: essays on Anglo-Irish literature (Dublin 1996).
  16. W. J. McCormack, Fool of the family: a life of J.M. Synge (London 2000).
  17. Gregory Castle, Modernism and the Celtic revival (Cambridge 2001).
  18. Mary C. King, 'Disturbing events: assessing and re-assessing J.M. Synge', Bullán 6:2 (2002) 83-98.

The edition used in the digital edition

Synge, John Millington (1920). Poems and translations‍. 1st ed. Dublin: Maunsel.

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

  title 	 = {Poems and translations},
  author 	 = {John Millington Synge},
  edition 	 = {1},
  publisher 	 = {Maunsel},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  date 	 = {1920}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The poems of the present text are taken from pages 3, 14–15, 18–19, and 24–25 of the edition.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been checked and proof-read three times.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text.

Quotation: There are no quotations.

Hyphenation: The electronic edition adheres to the practice of the textual editor.

Segmentation: div0=the text group; div1=the individual poem. Page-breaks are marked pb n=""/.

Interpretation: Names of persons are not tagged. Neither are terms for cultural and social roles.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “poem”, eg poem 1.

Profile description

Creation: By John Millington Synge

Date: 1908

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19/20c

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2011-01-24: Header updated, new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-07-19: Keywords added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2005-08-25: Normalised language codes and edited langUsage for XML conversion (ed. Julianne Nyhan)
  4. 2005-08-04T14:41:27+0100: Converted to XML (ed. Peter Flynn)
  5. 2004-05-28: Header modified; additions made to bibliography, HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 2004-05-28: File parsed. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  7. 2003-05-27: Text checked and proofed, header constructed, structural mark-up inserted and verified; bibliography compiled. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  8. 2003-05-27: File captured by scanning. (data capture Benjamin Hazard)

Index to all documents

CELT Project Contacts



For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Source document


Search CELT


    2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork