The Cherry Tree
Breakfast Time
In the Orchard
Day and Night
The Devil's Bag
A Visit from Abroad
The Wood of Flowers
The White Window
Behind the Hill
The Secret
April Showers
The Turn of the Road
The Coral Island
The Cow
The Old Man
What the Snake saw
The Horse
The Apple Tree
The Appointment
When I was Young

The Patriot's Bed
Grafton Street
Portobello Bridge
York Street
The Fifteen Acres
College Green
Mount Street
Westland Row
The College of Science
The Canal Bank
By Ana Liffey
From Hawk and Kite
The Gombeen-man
Beresford Place
At the Fair
The Fur Coat
Dublin Men
O'Connell Bridge
Charlotte Street
George's Street
Holles Street
Katty Gollagher
Cork Hill
The Piper
The Shadow
Custom House Quay
Stephen's Green
The College of Surgeons
Merrion Square
The Bare Trees
Dunphy's Corner
The Dodder Bank
White Fields
The Paps of Dana
Donnelly's Orchard



Come from your bed my drowsy gentleman!
    And you, fair lady, rise and braid your hair,
And let the children wash, if wash they can;
    If not, assist you them, and make them fair
As is the morning and the morning sky,
    And every tree and bush and bird in air.

The sun climbed on the heights three hours ago,
    He laughed above the hills and they were glad;
With bubbled pearl he made the rivers flow
    And laced their mists in silver, and he clad
The meads in fragrant pomp of green and gold,
    And bade the world forget it had been sad.

So lift yourself, good sir! and you, sweet dame,
    Unlash your evening eyes of pious grey;
Call on the children by each loved name,
    And set them on the grass and let them play;
And play with them a while, and sing with them
    Beneath the cherry bush a roundelay.


The sun is always in the sky
    Whenever I get out of bed,
And I often wonder why
    It's never late.—My sister said
She did not know who did the trick,
    And that she did not care a bit,
And I should eat my porridge quick.
    ... I think it's mother wakens it.


There was a giant by the Orchard Wall
    Peeping about on this side and on that,
And feeling in the trees: he was as tall
    As the big apple tree, and twice as fat:
His beard was long, and bristly-black, and there
Were leaves and bits of grass stuck in his hair.

He held a great big club in his right hand,
    And with the other felt in every tree
For something that he wanted. You could stand
    Beside him and not reach up to his knee
So mighty big he was—I feared he would
Turn round, and trample down to where I stood.

I tried to get away, but, as I slid
    Under a bush, he saw me, and he bent
Far down and said, "Where is the Princess hid?"
    I pointed to a place, and off he went—
But while he searched I turned and simply flew
Round by the lilac bushes back to you.


When the bright eyes of the day
    Open on the dusk, to see
Mist and shadow fade away
    And the sun shine merrily,
Then I leave my bed and run
Out to frolic in the sun.

Through the sunny hours I play
    Where the stream is wandering,
Plucking daisies by the way;
    And I laugh and dance and sing,
While the birds fly here and there
Singing on the sunny air.

When the night comes, cold and slow,
    And the sad moon walks the sky,
When the whispering wind says "Boh,
    Little boy!
" and makes me cry,
By my mother I am led
Home again and put to bed.


I saw the Devil walking down the lane
Behind our house.—There was a heavy bag
Strapped tightly on his shoulders, and the rain
Sizzled when it hit him. He picked a rag
Up from the ground and put it in his sack,
And grinned and rubbed his hands.
There was a thing
Moving inside the bag upon his back—
It must have been a soul! I saw it fling
And twist about inside, and not a hole
Or cranny for escape! Oh, it was sad!
I cried, and shouted out, "Let out that soul!"
But he turned round, and, sure, his face went mad,
And twisted up and down, and he said "Hell!"
And ran away.... Oh, mammy! I'm not well.


A speck went blowing up against the sky
    As little as a leaf: then it drew near
And broadened.—"It's a bird," said I,
    And fetched my bow and arrows. It was queer!
It grew up from a speck into a blot,
And squattered past a cloud; then it flew down
All crumply, and waggled such a lot
    I thought the thing would fall.—It was a brown
Old carpet where a man was sitting snug
    Who, when he reached the ground, began to sew
A big hole in the middle of the rug,
    And kept on peeping everywhere to know
Who might be coming—then he gave a twist
    And flew away.... I fired at him but missed.


I went to the Wood of Flowers
    (No one was with me);
I was there alone for hours.
    I was happy as could be
In the Wood of Flowers.

There was grass on the ground,
    There were buds on the tree,
And the wind had a sound
    Of such gaiety,
That I was as happy
    As happy could be,
In the Wood of Flowers.


The moon comes every night to peep
    Through the window where I lie,
And I pretend to be asleep;
    But I watch the moon as it goes by,
And it never makes a sound.

It stands and stares, and then it goes
    To the house that's next to me,
Stealing on its tippy-toes,
    To peep at folk asleep maybe;
And it never makes a sound.


And then I wakened up in such a fright;
    I thought I heard a movement in the room
But did not dare to look; I snuggled right
    Down underneath the bedclothes—then the boom
Of a tremendous voice said, "Sit up, lad,
    And let me see your face.
" So up I sat,
Although I didn't want to. I was glad
    I did though, for it was an angel that
Had called me, and he said, he'd come to know
    Was I the boy who wouldn't say his prayers
Nor do his sums, and that I'd have to go
    Straight down to hell because of such affairs.
... I said I'd be converted and do good
    If he would let me off—he said he would.


Behind the hill I met a man in green
    Who asked me if my mother had gone out?
I said she had. He asked me had I seen
    His castle where the people sing and shout
From dawn to dark, and told me that he had
    A crock of gold inside a hollow tree,
And I could have it.—I wanted money bad
    To buy a sword with, and I thought that he
Would keep his solemn word; so, off we went.
    He said he had a pound hid in the crock,
And owned the castle too, and paid no rent
    To any one, and that you had to knock
Five hundred times. I asked, "Who reckoned up?"
And he said, "You insulting little pup!"


I was frightened, for a wind
    Crept along the grass to say
Something that was in my mind

Something that I did not know
    Could be found out by the wind,
I had buried it so low
    In my mind.


The leaves are fresh after the rain,
    The air is cool and clear,
The sun is shining warm again,
    The sparrows hopping in the lane
Are brisk and full of cheer.

And that is why we dance and play,
    And that is why we sing,
Calling out in voices gay,
    We will not go to school to-day
Or learn anything:

It is a happy thing, I say,
To be alive on such a day.


I was playing with my hoop along the road
    Just where the bushes are, when, suddenly,
There came a shout.—I ran away and stowed
    Myself beneath a bush, and watched to see
What made the noise, and then, around the bend,
    I saw a woman running. She was old
And wrinkle-faced, and had big teeth.—The end
    Of her red shawl caught on a bush and rolled
Right off her, and her hair fell down.—Her face
    Was awful white, and both her eyes looked sick,
And she was talking queer. "O God of Grace!"
    Said she, "where is the child?" and flew back quick
The way she came, and screamed, and shook her hands;
    ... Maybe she was a witch from foreign lands.


His arms were round a chest of oaken wood,
    It was clamped with brass and iron studs, and seemed
An awful weight. After a while he stood
    And I stole near to him.—His white eyes gleamed
As he peeped secretly about; he laid
    The oaken chest upon the ground, then drew
A great knife from his belt, and stuck the blade
    Into the ground and dug. The clay soon flew
In all directions underneath a tree,
    And when the hole was deep he put the box
Down there, and threw the clay back cunningly,
    Stamping the ground quite flat; then like a fox
He crept among the trees.... I went next day
To dig the treasure up, but I lost my way.


            Cow, Cow!
            I and thou
Are looking at each other's eyes
You are lying on the grass
Eating every time I pass,
And you do not seem to be
Ever in perplexity:
You are good I'm sure, and not
Fit for nothing but the pot:
For your bearing is so kind,
And your quietness so wise:
            Cow, Cow!
            I and thou
Are looking at each other's eyes.


An old man sat beneath a tree
So still was he
    That, if he had been carved in stone,
He could not be
    More quiet or more cold:
He was an ancient man
    More than
A thousand ages old.


A little girl and a big ugly man
    Went down the road. The girl was crying
And asking to go home, but when she ran
    He hit her on the head and sent her flying,
And called her a young imp, and said he'd break
    Her neck unless she went with him, and then
He smacked her on the cheek.—I was a snake
    At that time crawling through a robber's den,
And diamonds were sticking to my tongue—
    (That's the best dodge), but when I saw the way
He beat the little girl I up and flung
    A stone at him. My aim was bad that day
Because I hit the girl ... and she did sing!
But he jumped round and cursed like anything.


A sparrow hopped about the street,
    And he was not a bit afraid;
He flew between a horse's feet,
    And ate his supper undismayed:
I think myself the horse knew well
The bird came for the grains that fell.

For his eye was looking down,
    And he danced the corn about
In his nose-bag, till the brown
    Grains of corn were tumbled out;
And I fancy that he said,
"Eat it up, young Speckle-Head!"

The driver then came back again,
    He climbed into the heavy dray;
And he tightened up the rein,
    Cracked his whip and drove away.
But when the horse's ribs were hit,
The sparrow did not care a bit.


I was hiding in the crooked apple tree,
    Scouting for Indians, when a man came;
I thought it was an Indian, for he
    Was running like the wind.—There was a flame
Of sunlight on his hand as he drew near,
    And then I saw a knife gripped in his fist.
He panted like a horse; his eyes were queer,
    Wide-open, staring frightfully, and, hist!
His mouth stared open like another eye,
    And all his hair was matted down with sweat.
I crouched among the leaves for fear he'd spy
    Where I was hiding, so he did not get
His awful eyes on me, but like the wind
He fled as if he heard something behind.


Tree! you are years standing there,
    Gripping tight to the side of the hill,
And your branches are spread on the air,
    While you stand so sad and so still,
        And you do not complain
        When you're wet with the rain,
    Though I think you have often been ill.

I would like (but it could not be done,
    So you must not keep me to my word)
To take you away when the sun
    Goes down, and the breezes are stirred,
        And hug you in bed
        With myself, till you said
That to sleep on a hill was absurd.

O beautiful tree! when the night
    Is dark, and the winds come and scold,
I would love then to cuddle you tight,
    For I fear you will die of the cold;
        But you are so tall,
        And my bed is so small,
That it could not be done, I am told.

My mother is calling for me,
    And the baby is wanting to play,
I shall have to go home now, you see,
    But I'll give you a kiss if I may:
        I would stay if I could,
        But a child must be good,
So I must, darling tree, go away.

I will leave you my pencil and slate,
    And this little pin from my frock;
But now I must go, for it's late,
    And my mother is rattling the lock:
        So good-bye, darling dear,
        I'll come back, never fear,
In the morning at seven o'clock.


The night was creeping on the ground;
She crept and did not make a sound
Until she reached the tree, and then
She covered it, and stole again
Along the grass beside the wall.

I heard the rustle of her shawl
As she threw blackness everywhere
Upon the sky and ground and air,
And in the room where I was hid:
But no matter what she did
To everything that was without,
She could not put my candle out.

So I stared at the night, and she
Stared back solemnly at me.


I will not know when I am dead
If sun or moon is overhead;
I'll stretch out flat without a sound
Inside a box beneath the ground,
And never rise again to see
Branches lifting on a tree,
Nor hear the song the finches sing
In the spring.

I'll not, while sunny ages go,
Lift a hand or wag a toe;
But in a wooden box will be
Hidden for eternity
From sea and sun, from sight and sound,
From touch of people, voice of friend,
From all that makes my heart to bound,
Denying such an end:
It is so strange—I wonder why
People die!



When a son you shall desire,
Pray to water and to fire;
But when you would have a daughter,
Pray to fire and then to water.


At four o'clock, in dainty talk,
Lords and lovely ladies walk,
With a gentle dignity,
From the Green to Trinity.

And at five o'clock they take,
In a Café, tea and cake,
Then they call a carriage, and
Drive back into fairyland.


Silver stars shine peacefully,
The Canal is silver, the
Poplars bear with modest grace
Gossamers of silver lace,
And the turf bank wears with glee
Black and silver filigree.


If in winter you shall drive
Birds from crumbs, you shall not thrive;
But if you feed them, they will fly
To sing it sweetly on the sky.

So throw up the window, and
Scatter with a lavish hand,
Taking care you do not spill
Flower-pots from the window-sill,

Singing, "Ireland shall be free
From the centre to the sea";
Singing bravely once again,
"We are Dan O'Connell's Men."


    I cling and swing
    On a branch, or sing
Through the cool, clear hush of Morning, O:
    Or fling my wing
    On the air, and bring
To sleepier birds a warning, O:
    That the night's in flight,
    And the sun's in sight,
And the dew is the grass adorning, O:
    And the green leaves swing
    As I sing, sing, sing,
        Up by the river,
            Down the dell,
        To the little wee nest,
            Where the big tree fell,
        So early in the morning, O.

    I flit and twit
    In the sun for a bit
When his light so bright is shining, O:
    Or sit and fit
    My plumes, or knit
Straw plaits for the nest's nice lining, O:
    And she with glee
    Shows unto me
Underneath her wings reclining, O:
    And I sing that Peg
    Has an egg, egg, egg,
        Up by the oat-field,
            Round the mill,
        Past the meadow,
            Down the hill,
        So early in the morning, O.

    I stoop and swoop
    On the air, or loop
Through the trees, and then go soaring, O
    To group with a troop
    On the gusty poop
While the wind behind is roaring, O:
    I skim and swim
    By a cloud's red rim
And up to the azure flooring, O:
    And my wide wings drip
    As I slip, slip, slip
        Down through the rain-drops,
            Back where Peg
        Broods in the nest
            On the little white egg,
        So early in the morning, O.


When you meet an ancient man,
Be as silent as you can;
So when old age comes to you,
Courtesies shall gather too.

And King Billy's horse will start
From our street and from our heart,
When each Irishman shall be
Perfected in courtesy.


Here and there on the wings of night
A fleck of blue and purple light,
A scrap of cloud, a bird, a star,
A comet hurrying afar
On the abyss, and the moon
Standing in her silver shoon.

On the summit of the sky,
Delicate and proud and high,
The silver moon on a silver sea
Spins her silver broidery
While the stars send down a light
Here and there on the wings of night.


Every Sunday there's a throng
Of pretty girls, who trot along
In a pious, breathless state
(They are nearly always late)
To the Chapel, where they pray
For the sins of Saturday.

They have frocks of white and blue,
Yellow sashes they have too,
And red ribbons show each head
Tenderly is ringleted;
And the bell rings loud, and the
Railway whistles urgently.

After Chapel they will go,
Walking delicately slow,
Telling still how Father John
Is so good to look upon,
And such other grave affairs
As they thought of during prayers.


Who knows a thing and will not tell
Shall spend eternity in hell;
But he who learns and teaches free
In heaven spends eternity.

Around the Leinster Lawn we go
Into Molesworth Street, and so
To Saint Stephen's Green, where we
Hang a banner on a tree.


I know a girl,
    And a girl knows me,
        And the owl says, what?
        And the owl says, who?
But what we know
    We both agree
That nobody else
    Shall hear or see,
It's all between
    Herself and me:
        To wit? said the owl,
        To woo, said I,
    To-what, to-wit, to-woo!


If you come to live with me,
I will sing so heartily
In your honour that you will
Stay to wonder at my skill.

In your honour I will fill
The world with songs of triumph, till
You and I and Time are old
Pipers of the Age of Gold.

Time and you and I will hold,
Everywhere by field and fold,
Concerts of content, and be
Known afar for jollity.

Everywhere by fold and field
We will wander well-agreed;
So I sing right heartily,
Come along and live with me.


Poor, frightened, fluttered, silent one!
    If we had seen your nest of clay
We would have passed it by, and gone,
    Nor frightened you away.

For there are others guard a nest
    From hawk and kite and lurking foe,
And more despair is in their breast
    Than you can ever know.

Shield the nests where'er they be,
On the ground or on the tree;
Guard the poor from treachery.


I put the sky into my pocket,
And the sea into my locket,
And into my breeches-band
I put the land.

So I was trotting off to share,
Among my comrades in the lair,
Our profits, when a peeler came
And took my name.

And now I'm in the County Gaol!
Will anybody be my bail?
Will anybody be my bail
And take me from the County Gaol?


The man who has and does not give
Shall break his neck, and cease to live;
But he who gives without a care
Shall gather rubies from the air.


The lark shall never come to say
To a gombeen-man, "Good day,"
And the lark shall never cry
To a kindly man, "Good-bye."

See the greedy gombeen-man
Taking everything he can
From man and woman, dog and cat—
And the lark does not like that.


I walked out in my Coat of Pride,
I looked about on every side,
And said the mountains should not be
Just where they were, and that the sea
Was badly placed, and that the beech
Should be an oak—and then from each
I turned in dignity as if
They were not there: I sniffed a sniff,
And climbed upon my sunny shelf,
And sneezed a while, and scratched myself.


A Dublin man will frown when he
Hears a tale of villainy;
But when a kindness you relate,
He swings and whistles on the gate.


In Dublin town the people see
Gorgeous clouds sail gorgeously,
They are finer, I declare,
Than the clouds of anywhere.

A swirl of blue and red and green,
A stream of blinding gold, a sheen
From silver hill and pearly ridge
Comes each evening on the bridge.

So when you walk in a field, look down,
Lest you tramp on a daisy's crown,
But in a city look always high
And watch the beautiful clouds go by.


Inside a soap shop, down a lane,
A big bee buzzed on a window-pane,

Climbing the cold glass up and down;
Bee, what brought you into town?

You are tired and hungry and scarce alive,
Poor old Shaggy-Tail! where's your hive?


Listen! if but women were
Half as kind as they are fair,
There would be an end to all
Miseries that do befall.

Cloud and wind would run together
In a dance of sunny weather,
And the happy trees would throw
Gifts to travellers below.

Then the lion, meek and mild,
With the lamb would, side by side,
Couch him friendly, and would be
Innocent of enmity.

Then the Frozen Pole would go,
Tossing off his fields of snow,
And would shake delighted feet
With the girls of George's Street.

These, if women only were
Half as kind as they are fair.


Through the air,
Everywhere, the rain is falling;
Brawling on house and tree:
On every place that you can see
The rain drops go;
The roofs are wet, the walls, the ground below.

Midnight has come;
Now all the people stretch them blind and dumb
Each in a bed
Save I, who sit and listen overhead
Unto the rain
Splashing upon the roof and window-pane.

Midnight! and I
Can get no sleep, nor can the sky.


The hill is bare: I only find
    The grass, the sky, and one small tree
Tossing wildly on the wind;
    And that is all there is to see:
A tree, a hill, a wind, a sky
Where nothing ever passes by.


Come all ye happy children, and
Gather round me hand in hand,
Dancing to the merry cry,
"See the Robbers Passing By."

Past the Castle we will dance
To the Mansion House, and prance
Back by George's Street and cry,
"See the Robbers Passing By."

Gather then ye children all
Into ranks processional,
Marching to the merry cry,
"See the Robbers Passing By."


Shepherd! while the lambs do feed,
    And you rest beneath a tree,
Pipe upon an oaten reed
    Merrily and merrily.

Should it rain do not forbear—
    Rain comes from the happy sky—
Tune us now a quiet air
    Till the shower passes by.

Back the sun will come in gold!
    Pipe away, my dear, until
Evening brings the lambs to fold—
    You may weep then if you will.


Silence comes upon the night,
    Gone is all the cheerful day,
The moon has disappeared from sight,
    Every star has gone away.

Sinking through the void, and thence
    Disappearing, star and sky,
In the stern and black immense
    That has blinded every eye.

Silence crouches on the land,
    In the street a shadow lies
Cloaked in velvet wrappings, and
    With a mask upon her eyes.

Anonymous and terrible
    Mother of the primal ray,
Only night because thou art
    In thyself excess of day.


When a Dublin man shall say,
"Give me a little bread, I pray,"
If you do not give him bread
You will be hungry when he is fed.

And let no priest or magistrate
Scowl upon the poor man's plate,
Asking him the question sly
To which no one can reply.


The wind stood up and gave a shout;
    He whistled on his fingers, and
Kicked the withered leaves about
    And thumped the branches with his hand,
And said he'd kill, and kill, and kill,
And so he will, and so he will.


As I stood at the door
    Sheltered out of the wind,
Something flew in
    Which I hardly could find.

In the dim, gloomy doorway
    I searched till I found
A dry withered leaf
    Lying down on the ground.

With thin, pointed claws
    And a dry dusty skin,—
Sure a hall is no place
    For a leaf to be in!

Oh where is your tree,
    And your summer and all,
Poor dusty leaf
    Whistled into a hall?


Grey clouds on the tinted sky,
A drifting moon, a quiet breeze
Drooping mournfully to cry
In the branches of the trees.

The crying wind, the sighing trees,
The ruffled stars, the darkness falling
Down the sky, and on the breeze
A belated linnet calling.


Unfortunates, on the bare tree!
I mourn for ye
That have no place to house,
But on those winter-white cold boughs
    To sit,
    (How far apart ye sit)
And brood
In this wide, wintry solitude
    That has no song at all to hearten it.

Fly away, little birds!
    Fly away to Spain,
Stay there all the winter
    Then come back again;
Come back in the summer
    When the leaves are thick;
Little weeny cold birds
    Fly away quick.


Pacing slowly down the road
Black horses go, with load on load
Of Dublin people dead, and they
Will be covered up in clay.

Ere their friends go home, each man
Will shake his head, and drain a can
To Dublin people we will meet
Not again in Grafton Street.


When no flower is nigh, you might
Spy a weed with deep delight;
So, when far from saints and bliss,
God might give a sin a kiss.


In the winter children go
Walking in the fields of snow
Where there is no grass at all,
And the top of every wall,
Every fence, and every tree
Is as white as white can be.

Pointing out the way they came,
(Every one of them the same)
All across the fields there be
Prints in silver filigree;
And their mothers find them so
By the footprints in the snow.


The mountains stand and stare around,
    They are far too proud to speak;
Altho' they're rooted in the ground,
    Up they go, peak after peak,
Beyond the tallest tree, and still
    Soaring over house and hill
Until you'd think they'd never stop
    Going up, top over top,
Into the clouds—
                            Still I mark
    That a sparrow or a lark
Flying just as high, can sing
    As if he'd not done anything.

I think the mountains ought to be
Taught a little modesty.


He who locks a gate doth close
Pity's heart against his woes;
But who opens one shall find
God is standing just behind.


I saw the moon so broad and bright
Sailing high on a frosty night:

And the air swung far and far between
The silver disc and the orb of green:

While here and there a wisp of white
Cloud-film swam on the misty light:

And crusted thickly on the sky,
High and higher and yet more high,

Were golden star-points dusted through
The great, wide, silent vault of blue:

Then I said to me—God is good
And the world is fair—and where I stood

I knelt me down and bent my head,
And said my prayers, and went to bed.


Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh.


THE CROCK OF GOLD. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

THE PALL MALL GAZETTE.—"A wise, beautiful, and humorous book.... If you could have given Sterne a soul and made him a poet he might have produced The Crock of Gold."

THE DEMI-GODS. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

STANDARD.—"The book is full of fine knowledge and fantasies in every shade of gaiety and gravity, and we would call its author a magician did we not feel that everything he writes is perfectly natural to him.... This book would prove, if proof were needed, that Mr. Stephens's Crock of Gold was not a mere tour de force, but a real ebullition of genius and a token of all the good work that was to come."

HERE ARE LADIES. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

THE TIMES.—"A story may have many and diverse effects upon its reader. It may leave him smiling, laughing, frowning (perhaps weeping), angry, perplexed, exalted, afraid. The bits of stories in Here are Ladies, the sketches, essays, snapshots, call them what you will, will leave him for the most part happy and hungry—for more."

THE CHARWOMAN'S DAUGHTER. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

PUNCH.—"A little gem.... It is a very long time indeed since we read such a human, satisfying book. Every page contains some happy phrase or illuminating piece of character drawing."

SONGS FROM THE CLAY. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

EVENING STANDARD.—"They have the sense of elfin mischief and keen spiritual sympathy with inarticulate nature which is so recognisable a feature of all Mr. Stephens's writings, prose and verse. Many of the poems are models of that simplicity which is the supreme art of poesy, and in all may be found an underlying verity, masked may be with smiles or tears."