Jane Francesca Wilde (Speranza): Irish Woman Poet

Jane Elgee was born in Dublin in around 1821 into a conservative Irish family. She attended the funeral of Thomas Davis in 1845 and thereafter started contributing Nationalist verse to The Nation. She became its editor in 1848 and married Sir William Wilde three years later. She died in 1896 while her son Oscar was in Reading Gaol.

Misery is Mistery is taken from her Poems (Dublin, James Duffy 1864).



Misery his heart hath broken —

Misery is mystery!

Let the sad one lonely be;

As the Ancients shunned the token

Of a lightning-blasted tree.


Breathe no word, his doom is spoken —

Misery is mystery!

By its scathing lightning fated,

Human hearts are consecrated,

For a higher destiny.


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