Louisiana Keenan: Irish Woman Poet

Louisiana Keenan was born in Dublin, moved to the US with her father, and the family later returned when he was appointed American Consul for Dublin and Cork. She married an Excise officer called Murphy and her writings were published under her married name. These include: Dunmore, the Days of the Land League: Irish Dramatic Episode of Our Own Time (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1888); Centenary Eode, Father Mathew, Oct. 10 1890 (Dublin 1890); Poems of Old and New Ireland (Dublin: Talbot; London: Simpkin 1925); also The Epic of Lourdes [q.d.].

 

BALLAD.
 

Am I of those we see, too late.
Life’s early faults retrieving ?
Must I, too, share the sceptic’s fate
Reduced to stern believing?
At Love I’ve mocked, at Passion smiled;
To find my heart in peril
In sight of Nature’s sweetest child.
An artless Irish girl!
So frank and free.
Yet maidenly,
This simple Irish girl!
 
I’ve drunk of Cyprus’ sparkling wines,
A gay and laughing lover;
I’ve worshipped at a hundred shrines
The smiling, broad earth over;
I’ve sorrowed o’er a faded flower.
Penned sonnets to a curl.
Yet never felt true Passion’s power
Till came this Irish girl.
Of wayward mood.
And charm subdued,
A winsome Irish girl !
 
Oh! she is true, and such as she
Response might aptly render
The honest heart’s idolatry,
Whilst scorning wealth and splendor.
From such belief fond hopes arise, —
He’d be a soulless churl
Who’d gaze into those candid eyes.
And doubt my Irish girl —
Whose orbs of blue
Proclaim her true.
My dauntless Irish girl.

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