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Austin Clarke (b. May 9, 1896 - d. Mar. 19, 1974)

Poet and playwright, born in Dublin. He studied at University College, Dublin, and spent 15 years in England as a journalist before returning to Dublin in 1937. The Vengeance of Fionn, the first of 18 books of verse, was published in 1917. His Collected Poems were published in 1974. He was also a noted playwright and an adherent of verse drama, promoted through the Dublin Verse-Speaking Society which he formed in 1941. His first novel, The Bright Temptation (1932), was banned in Ireland until 1954.
Note: We took this from If you are interested in any others, we recommend it.

The Blackbird Of Derrycairn

by Austin Clarke

Stop, stop and listen for the bough top
Is whistling and the sun is brighter
Than God's own shadow in the cup now!
Forget the hour-bell. Mournful matins
Will sound, Patric, as well at nightfall.

Faintly through mist of broken water
Fionn heard my melody in Norway.
He found the forest track, he brought back
This beak to gild the branch and tell, there,
Why men must welcome in the daylight.

He loved the breeze that warns the black grouse,
The shouts of gillies in the morning
When packs are counted and the swans cloud
Loch Erne, but more than all those voices
My throat rejoicing from the hawthorn.

In little cells behind a cashel,
Patric, no handbell gives a glad sound.
But knowledge is found among the branches.
Listen! That song that shakes my feathers
Will thong the leather of your satchels.

The Lost Heifer
by Austin Clarke

When the black herds of the rain were grazing,
In the gap of the pure cold wind
And the watery hazes of the hazel
Brought her into my mind,
I thought of the last honey by the water
That no hive can find.

Brightness was drenching through the branches
When she wandered again,
Turning sliver out of dark grasses
Where the skylark had lain,
And her voice coming softly over the meadow
Was the mist becoming rain.

The Planters Daughter
by Austin Clarke

When night stirred at sea,
An the fire brought a crowd in
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.

Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went --
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.

The Awakening of Dermuid
By Austin Clarke (From “The Vengeance of Finn.”)

In the sleepy forest where the bluebells
Smouldered dimly through the night,
Dermuid saw the leaves like glad green waters
At daybreak flowing into light,
And exultant from his love upspringing
Strode with the sun upon the height.

Glittering on the hilltops
He saw the sunlit rain
Drift as around the spindle
A silver-threaded skein,
And the brown mist whitely breaking
Where arrowy torrents reached the plain.

A maddened moon
Leapt in his heart and whirled the crimson tide
Of his blood until it sang aloud of battle
Where the querns of dark death grind,
Till it sang and scorned in pride
Love—the froth-pale blossom of the boglands
That flutters on the waves of the wandering wind.

Flower-quiet in the rush-strewn sheiling
At the dawntime Grainne lay,
While beneath the birch-topped roof the sunlight
Groped upon its way
And stooped above her sleeping white body
With a wasp-yellow ray.

The hot breath of the day awoke her,
And wearied of its heat
She wandered out by the noisy elms
On the cool mossy peat,
Where the shadowed leaves like pecking linnets
Nodded around her feet.

She leaned and saw in the pale-grey waters,
By twisted hazel boughs,
Her lips like heavy drooping poppies
In a rich redness drowse,
Then swallow—lightly touched the ripples
Until her wet lips were
Burning as ripened rowan berries
Through the white winter air.

Lazily she lingered
 Gazing so,
As the slender osiers
Where the waters flow,
As green twings of sally
Swaying to and fro.

Sleepy moths fluttered
In her dark eyes,
And her lips grew quieter
Than lullabies.
Swaying with the reedgrass
Over the stream
Lazily she lingered
Cradling a dream.

For more Poetry Click the Poetry Index.


Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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No matter who does the collecting, the works stand on their own but this is an excellent compilation and well worth adding to your library.
Click here for Yeats.

1000 Years of Irish Poetry: The Gaelic and Anglo Irish Poets from Pagan Times to the Present
by Kathleen Hoagland

Interested in Irish Poetry?Here's the easy way to collect them all (well, almost all, anyway).
Malachy McCourt says in his introduction, "With the republication of this book, the Irish recover under their roof of stars all the great poets and writers who have been falsely claimed by the saxon crown and its minions - even our reprobates."
Amazon states this is out of stock. They still have used copies for almost nothing (except shipping - chuckle). If you would like a new edition, it was available at Powell's. We can't promise it's still there. Click here for Powell's 1000 Years.
Click here for used at Amazon.


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