Jane Barlow: Irish Woman Poet

220px-Jane_BarlowJane Barlow (1857 – 17 April 1917) was born in Dublin and lived most of her life in Bray. A novelist and poet, many of her poems are in a synthetic Wicklow dialect. ‘The Roses’ Wisdom’ is taken from her 1908 collection, The Mockers and Other Verses.


Dreaming, he saw her garden desolate
All lit with glory of roses: “Lo, the flowers
She loved,” he thought, “have wiser hearts than ours,
That mourn her reft away by changeless Fate;
For these now of their bravery nought abate,
As wist they well how yet her blossomed bowers
Shall greet her, yielded back by gracious powers
Some happy soon, whereon in joy they wait.”
Then long he tarried, lest a step might stir
Soft on the listening paths, but hushed they lay
Till every rose was fled through petal-showers;
And when the last were strewn, he sighed to say:
“Ah, wise are ye, who knew the empty hours
Must lonely bide, save if ye follow Her.”


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