Henrietta Nethercott: Irish Woman Poet

Henrietta Nethercott published two volumes of verse, Poetical Pieces of Religion and Nature (Dublin, 1856) and The Traveller’s Dream, and Other Poems (Dublin, 1859), both as Henrietta.

The Broken Spring

 

IN the delicate harp of your family union

Dark fingers have broken a string;

And the echoes it left when its music departed

In your hearts like a requiem ring.

 

But, when the glad groups of the saved are uniting,

And the discord of parting is o’er.

Oh ! the hand of its maker and master shall touch it.

And a sweetness more mellow shall pour.

 

For the brother ye love has been laid with the blessed;

He was true, he was tender to all;

Ah ! no wonder that oft ye will start and be lonely,

As with freshness his voice ye recall.

 

Let the clouds not prevail o’er the spot where he’s resting;

Let a hope be enshrin’d in each tear;

Let them arch the green grave like a rainbow at evening.

Nor decline, till the morn shall appear.

Lucy Spring-Rice: Irish Woman Poet

Lucy Spring Rice (1854 – 1884) published two volumes of poems, Sonnets and Other Poems (1872) and Pictures from a Life and other Poems (1884), both under her married name of Knox. ‘Song’ is taken from the former.

SONG
 
O WHITE rose-bud, my rose, my rose!

What is my life to me?

Far off I watched thy sweetness blow;

Longed I not then for thee?

 
Yet twilight and the reddening dawn,

I would not hasten these,

Nor dry the dew-drops on thy heart

To give mine own more ease.

 
Thy leaves, too tender for my touch,

He plucked with careless praise;

I saw thee in his breast, and then

Flung loose on dusty ways.

 
O rose-bud that shall never bloom,

At last, when hope has fled,

I lay thee in the heart that waits

To break till thou art dead

Ellen Mary Clerke: Irish Woman Poet

Ellen Mary Clerkeplaque (1840-1906) was born in Skibbereen and died in London. Her sister Agnes Mary was a leading astronomer and non-fiction author, and Ellen Mary was a polymath herself, writing popular science titles, poetry, translations from the Italian, and articles in German and Arabic. A devout Catholic, ‘THE BUILDING AND PINNACLE OF THE TEMPLE’ was published in 1902 in Carmina Mariana; an English anthology in verse in honour of or in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary edited by Orby Shipley.

THE BUILDING AND PINNACLE OF THE TEMPLE
 
I.
 
Not made with hands, its walls began to climb

From roots in Life’s foundations deeply set,

Far down amid primeval forms, where yet

Creation’s Finger seemed to grope in slime.
Yet not in vain passed those first-born of Time,

Since each some presage gave of structure met

In higher types, lest these the bond forget

That links Earth’s latest to the fore-world’s prime.

And living stone on living stone was laid,

In scale ascending ever, grade on grade,

To that which in its Maker’s eyes seemed good —

The Human Form : and in that shrine of thought,

By the long travail of the ages wrought,

The Temple of the Incarnation stood.
 
II.
 
Through all the ages since the primal ray,

Herald of life, first smote the abysmal night

Of elemental Chaos, and the might

Of the Creative Spark informed the clay,
From worm to brute, from brute to man — its way

The Shaping Thought took upward, flight on flight.

By stages which Earth’s loftiest unite

Unto her least, made kin to such as they.

As living link, or prophecy, or type

Of purpose for fulfilment yet unripe,

Each has its niche in the supreme design ;

Converging to one Pinnacle, whereat

Sole stands Creation’s Masterpiece — and that

Which was through her — the Human made Divine.

Emma Maria De Burgh: Irish Woman Poet

Emma Maria De Burgh (Died 21 September, 1851) was born Emma Maria Hunt, possibly in or around Newbridge, Kildare and died in Dublin. Her posthumous volume The voice of many waters, a selection from the compositions in prose and verse of E.M. De Burgh was edited by her sister Caroline Hunt and printed privately in London in 1858.
 

CADER IDRIS, MERIONETHSHIRE.
Air — Aptoun.
 
Go, where Cader Idris towers,

Spent volcano, to the sky;

Go and search her sides for flowers,

Cull them ere they fade and die;

Where the lava once was flowing,

Others grope, but why should I?

Fairer far the wild heath ‘s glowing,

Aloes scarce, and harebells shy.

 
Wandering ‘mid the hazel bowers

Which her beauteous base adorn,

Go, and bless the vernal showers

Which have bade those bowers be born.

Rustic fruit-trees dpwnward bending,

Welcome on this sultry morn,

Yield their sweets; but with them blending,

As in life, there grows a thorn.

Hannah L. Harvey: Irish Woman Poet

Hannah L Harvey was born in Waterford in 1854. A Quaker, she resigned her membership of the Society, presumably to pursue her interests in Nationalist and Suffragette politics. This poem was included in Evelyn Noble Armatige’s 1896 anthology The Quaker Poets of Great Britain and Ireland when Harvey was still alive.

The Jungfrau
 
About thy feet, O fair and awful maiden,

The thunders roll,

And sombre clouds, with shooting death-fires laden,

Appall the soul.

 
Giants with giants round thee are contending,

With mighty throes,

As though the tumult of their wrath, ascending,

Could shake thy snows.

 
Veiled in a robe of misty vapours streaming,

A stately queen,

Beyond the clouds thy snowy peaks are gleaming,

Unmoved, serene.

 
Awful as death, and glorious as a vision,

Once more they rise,

And smiling forth celestial derision,

Salute the skies.

 
O’er thee the lightnings flash in harmless anger,

The thunders roll,

Thou bearest, high above the tempest’s clangour,

A stainless soul!