Katharine Tynan: Irish Woman Poet

Katharine Tynan (1861-1931) was born near Clondalkin, Dublin. Her father was a prosperous Catholic dairy farmer who financed her first book, Louise de la Vallière and Other Poems (1885), which was a commercial success and quickly ran to a second edition. It was reviewed by Yeats, with whom she developed a life-long friendship.

Tynan was a significant literary figure in her own lifetime, and published around 100 novels, 12 collections of short stories, more than a dozen collections of poetry as well as editing a number of anthologies and writing several volumes of memoirs. Her works are somewhat sentimental by modern standards and her fiction is hardly read. Nymphs is taken from Twenty One Poems By Katharine Tynan: Selected By W.B.Yeats (Dundrum: Dun Emer Press, 1907).


Where are ye now, O beautiful girls of the mountain,

Oreads all?

Nothing at all stirs here save the drip of the fountain;

Answers our call

Only the heart-glad thrush, in the Vale of Thrushes;

Stirs in the brake

But the dew-bright ear of the hare in his couch of rushes

Listening, awake.


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