Alice Furlong: Irish Woman Poet

Alice Furlong was born in 1875 and grew up in Bohernabreena, Tallaght. She studied to be a nurse and started publishing her poems at the age of 16. Her work was praised by Katharine Tynan, a neighbour and her first collection, Roses and Rue, was published by the well-known London publisher Elkin Matthews in 1899 and helped her establish a reputation as a leading Irish poet of the day. An enthusiastic supported of the Irish language, she was a member of the Gaelic League and translated Macbeth into Irish.

THE TRIAD OF THINGS NOT DECREED

Happy the stark bare wood on the hill of Bree!
To its grey branch, green the May: song after sigh:
Laughter of wings where the went with a cry
My sorrow! Song after sigh comes not to me.
 
Happy the dry wide pastures by Ahenree!
To them, in the speckled twiligh, dew after drouth:
White clover, a fragrance in the dumb beast’s mouth.
My sorrow! Dew after drouth comes not to me.
 
Happy Oilean Acla in the ample sea!
To its yellow shore, long-billowed flood after ebb:
Flash of the fish, silver in the soak weeds’ web,
My sorrow! Flood after ebb comes not to me.

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