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The Four Places Of Sorrow

Anna Johnston MacManus 1864 (Ballymena) – 1902 (Donegal)

There is sorrow for me in the North, where the black wind blows,
(Hush, O Wind of the dirges, O Voice of the restless dead!)
The ache of its cruel keening thro' my heart like an arrow goes,
I see in the tossing waters the sheen of a dear bright head.

There is sorrow for me in the South, where the white wind sings,
(Hush, O Wind of all lovers, crooning a laugh and a cry!)
On the pain of a dream love-haunted breaks the music of wings,
Seagulls, sweeping and swaying, saw ye my dead drift by?

There is sorrow for me in the East, where the red wind burns,
(Hush, O Wind of remorse, O Wind of the scourging flame!)
Under its slow cold dawning the soul of the drowned returns
And wan, in the startled daybreak, a ghost from the sea he came.

There is sorrow for me in the West, where the brown wind raves,
(Hush, O Wind from the bogs, O memory-freighted Wind!)
He is spindrift hither and thither, sport of unweary waves:
Would that my heart were close on his heart, my eyes on his eyes were blind!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:00 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 990
Words 200
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4

Anna Johnston MacManus

Ethna Carbery (born Anna Johnston, 3 December 1864 – 2 April 1902) was an Irish journalist, writer and poet. She is best known for the ballad Roddy McCorley and the Song of Ciabhán; the latter was set to music by Ivor Gurney. Along with Alice Milligan she published two Irish nationalist magazines. more…

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    "The Four Places Of Sorrow" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 20 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/42639/the-four-places-of-sorrow>.

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