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Best Famous Katharine Tynan Poems

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Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

The Foggy Dew

 A splendid place is London, with golden store, 
For them that have the heart and hope and youth galore; 
But mournful are its streets to me, I tell you true, 
For I'm longing sore for Ireland in the foggy dew.
The sun he shines all day here, so fierce and fine, With never a wisp of mist at all to dim his shine; The sun he shines all day here from skies of blue: He hides his face in Ireland in the foggy dew.
The maids go out to milking in the pastures gray, The sky is green and golden at dawn of the day; And in the deep-drenched meadows the hay lies new, And the corn is turning yellow in the foggy dew.
Mavrone ! if I might feel now the dew on my face, And the wind from the mountains in that remembered place, I'd give the wealth of London, if mine it were to do, And I'd travel home to Ireland and the foggy dew.

Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem


 So I have sunk my roots in earth 
Since that my pretty boys had birth; 
And fear no more the grave and gloom, 
I, with the centuries to come.
As the tree blossoms so bloom I, Flinging wild branches to the sky; Renew each year my leafy suit, Strike with the years a deeper root.
Shelter a thousand birds to be, A thousand herds give praise to me; And in my kind and grateful shade How many a weary head be laid.
I clothe myself without a stain.
In me a child is born again, A child that looks with innocent eyes On a new world with glad surprise.
The old mistakes are all undone, All the old sins are purged and gone.
Old wounds and scars have left no trace, There are no lines in this young face.
To hear the cuckoo the first time, And 'mid new roses in the prime To read the poets newly.
This, Year after year, shall be my bliss.
Of me shall love be born anew; I shall be loved and lover too; Years after this poor body has died Shall be the bridegroom and the bride.
Of me shall mothers spring to know The mother's bliss, the mother's woe; And children's children yet to be Shall learn their prayers about my knee.
And many million lights of home Shall light for me the time to come.
Unto me much shall be forgiven, I that make many souls for heaven.
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem


 Bring flowers to strew His way, 
Yea, sing, make holiday; 
Bid young lambs leap, 
And earth laugh after sleep.
For now He cometh forth Winter flies to the north, Folds wings and cries Amid the bergs and ice.
Yea, Death, great Death is dead, And Life reigns in his stead; Cometh the Athlete New from dead Death's defeat.
Cometh the Wrestler, But Death he makes no stir, Utterly spent and done, And all his kingdom gone.
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

Any Woman

 I am the pillars of the house;
The keystone of the arch am I.
Take me away, and roof and wall Would fall to ruin me utterly.
I am the fire upon the hearth, I am the light of the good sun, I am the heat that warms the earth, Which else were colder than a stone.
At me the children warm their hands; I am their light of love alive.
Without me cold the hearthstone stands, Nor could the precious children thrive.
I am the twist that holds together The children in its sacred ring, Their knot of love, from whose close tether No lost child goes a-wandering.
I am the house from floor to roof, I deck the walls, the board I spread; I spin the curtains, warp and woof, And shake the down to be their bed.
I am their wall against all danger, Their door against the wind and snow, Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger, Take me not till the children grow!
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

The Children of Lir

 Out upon the sand-dunes thrive the coarse long grasses;
Herons standing knee-deep in the brackish pool;
Overhead the sunset fire and flame amasses
And the moon to eastward rises pale and cool.
Rose and green around her, silver-gray and pearly, Chequered with the black rooks flying home to bed; For, to wake at daybreak, birds must couch them early: And the day's a long one since the dawn was red.
On the chilly lakelet, in that pleasant gloaming, See the sad swans sailing: they shall have no rest: Never a voice to greet them save the bittern's booming Where the ghostly sallows sway against the West.
'Sister,' saith the gray swan, 'Sister, I am weary,' Turning to the white swan wet, despairing eyes; 'O' she saith, 'my young one! O' she saith, 'my dearie !' Casts her wings about him with a storm of cries.
Woe for Lir's sweet children whom their vile stepmother Glamoured with her witch-spells for a thousand years; Died their father raving, on his throne another, Blind before the end came from the burning tears.
Long the swans have wandered over lake and river; Gone is all the glory of the race of Lir: Gone and long forgotten like a dream of fever: But the swans remember the sweet days that were.
Hugh, the black and white swan with the beauteous feathers, Fiachra, the black swan with the emerald breast, Conn, the youngest, dearest, sheltered in all weathers, Him his snow-white sister loves the tenderest.
These her mother gave her as she lay a-dying; To her faithful keeping; faithful hath she been, With her wings spread o'er them when the tempest's crying, And her songs so hopeful when the sky's serene.
Other swans have nests made 'mid the reeds and rushes, Lined with downy feathers where the cygnets sleep Dreaming, if a bird dreams, till the daylight blushes, Then they sail out swiftly on the current deep.
With the proud swan-father, tall, and strong, and stately, And the mild swan-mother, grave with household cares, All well-born and comely, all rejoicing greatly: Full of honest pleasure is a life like theirs.
But alas ! for my swans with the human nature, Sick with human longings, starved for human ties, With their hearts all human cramped to a bird's stature.
And the human weeping in the bird's soft eyes.
Never shall my swans build nests in some green river, Never fly to Southward in the autumn gray, Rear no tender children, love no mates for ever; Robbed alike of bird's joys and of man's are they.
Babbles Conn the youngest, 'Sister, I remember At my father's palace how I went in silk, Ate the juicy deer-flesh roasted from the ember, Drank from golden goblets my child's draught of milk.
Once I rode a-hunting, laughed to see the hurry, Shouted at the ball-play, on the lake did row; You had for your beauty gauds that shone so rarely.
' 'Peace' saith Fionnuala, 'that was long ago.
' 'Sister,' saith Fiachra, 'well do I remember How the flaming torches lit the banquet-hall, And the fire leapt skyward in the mid-December, And among the rushes slept our staghounds tall.
By our father's right hand you sat shyly gazing, Smiling half and sighing, with your eyes a-glow, As the bards sang loudly all your beauty praising.
' 'Peace,' saith Fionnuala, 'that was long ago.
' 'Sister,' then saith Hugh 'most do I remember One I called my brother, one, earth's goodliest man, Strong as forest oaks are where the wild vines clamber, First at feast or hunting, in the battle's van.
Angus, you were handsome, wise, and true, and tender, Loved by every comrade, feared by every foe: Low, low, lies your beauty, all forgot your splendour.
' 'Peace,' saith Fionnuala, 'that was long ago.
' Dews are in the clear air and the roselight paling; Over sands and sedges shines the evening star; And the moon's disc lonely high in heaven is sailing; Silvered all the spear-heads of the rushes are.
Housed warm are all things as the night grows colder, Water-fowl and sky-fowl dreamless in the nest; But the swans go drifting, drooping wing and shoulder Cleaving the still water where the fishes rest.
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

Any Woman

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 Any Woman'
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

Of St. Francis and the Ass

 Our father, ere he went 
Out with his brother, Death, 
Smiling and well-content 
As a bridegroom goeth, 
Sweetly forgiveness prayed 
From man or beast whom he 
Had ever injured
Or burdened needlessly.
'Verily,' then said he, 'I crave before I pass Forgiveness full and free Of my little brother, the ***.
Many a time and oft, When winds and ways were hot, He hath borne me cool and soft And service grudged me not.
'And once did it betide There was, unseen of me, A gall upon his side That suffered grievously.
And once his manger was Empty and bare, and brown.
(Praise God for sweet, dry grass That Bethlehem folk shook down! ) 'Consider, brethren,' said he, 'Our little brother; how mild, How patient, he will be, Though men are fierce and wild.
His coat is gray and fine, His eyes are kind with love; This little brother of mine Is gentle as the dove.
'Consider how such an one Beheld our Saviour born, And carried him, full-grown, Through Eastern streets one morn.
For this the Cross is laid Upon him for a sign.
Greatly is honourèd This little brother of mine.
' And even while he spake, Down in his stable stall His little *** 'gan shake And turned its face to the wall.
Down fell the heavy tear; Its gaze so mournful was, Fra Leo, standing near, Pitied the little ***.
That night our father died, All night the kine did low: The *** went heavy-eyed, With patient tears and slow.
The very birds on wings Made mournful cries in the air.
Amen! all living things Our father's brethern were.

Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

 There's music in my heart all day,
I hear it late and early,
It comes from fields are far away,
The wind that shakes the barley.
Above the uplands drenched with dew The sky hangs soft and pearly, An emerald world is listening to The wind that shakes the barley.
Above the bluest mountain crest The lark is singing rarely, It rocks the singer into rest, The wind that shakes the barley.
Oh, still through summers and through springs It calls me late and early.
Come home, come home, come home, it sings, The wind that shakes the barley.
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

Old Song Re-Sung

 I saw three ships a-sailing, 
A-sailing on the sea, 
The first her masts were silver,
Her hull was ivory.
The snows came drifting softly, And lined her white as wool; Oh, Jesus, Son of Mary, Thy Cradle beautiful! I saw three ships a-sailing, The next was red as blood, Her decks shone like a ruby, Encrimsoned all her wood.
Her main-mast stood up lonely, A lonely Cross and stark.
Oh, Jesus, Son of Mary, Bring all men to that ark! I saw three ships a-sailing.
The third for cargo bore The souls of men redeemed, That shall be slaves no more.
The lost beloved faces, I saw them glad and free.
Oh, Jesus, Son of Mary, When wilt thou come for me?
Written by Katharine Tynan | Create an image from this poem

A Gardener-Sage

 Here in the garden-bed, 
Hoeing the celery, 
Wonders the Lord has made 
Pass ever before me.
I see the young birds build, And swallows come and go, And summer grow and gild, And winter die in snow.
Many a thing I note, And store it in my mind, For all my ragged coat That scarce will stop the wind.
I light my pipe and draw, And, leaning on my spade, I marvel with much awe O'er all the Lord hath made.
Now, here's a curious thing: Upon the first of March The crow goes house-building In the elm and in the larch.
And be it shine or snow, Though many winds carouse, That day the artful crow Begins to build his house.
But then­the wonder's big ! If Sunday fell that day, Nor straw, nor screw, nor twig, Till Monday would he lay.
His black wings to his side, He'd drone upon his perch, Subdued and holy-eyed As though he were in church.
The crow's a gentleman Not greatly to my mind, He'll steal what seeds he can, And all you hide he'll find.
Yet though he's bully and sneak, To small birds, bird of prey, He counts the days of the week, And keeps the Sabbath Day.