Anna Louisa Hildebrand: Irish Woman Poet

Anna Louisa Hildebrand (b. 2 August 1842) was published regularly in local newspapers and brought out two collections, Western Lyrics (1872) and Lays from the Land of the Gael (1879). Here are two poems, one from each book.

HAPPY OR WISE.
 
I watched them as they sat apart,
Their hearts within their eyes,
Too hopeful to have any fears,
Too happy to be wise.
 
I knew it was the old, old tale
While gazing on the pair —
Each for the other any fate
Or any woe would dare.
 
I saw the radiant light of joy
Gild each unclouded brow;
I saw upon their quivering lips
Their young love’s whispered vow.
 
I turned, as an unbidden tear
Had started to my eyes;
I felt ’twas better far to be
Happy like them than wise.
 
A DEFENCE OF WOMEN
TO ONE WHO SAID ALL WOMEN WERE MERCENARY.
 
Your satire is severe yet I can’t blame you,
‘Tis aimed at those who ventured to defame you,
Yet of high treason do you stand attainted,
Women are not so black as you have painted,
Tho’ some to win a home and to escape
A life of toil — too often wed an ape.
Needs must when some one drives, and Oh, Sir Poet,
We oft can’t help ourselves and well you know it.

 

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