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.


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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