Jane Francesca Wilde

The Itinerant Singing Girl

Jane Francesca Agnes, Lady Wilde (née Elgee; 27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896) was an Irish poet under the pen name "Speranza" and supporter of the nationalist movement. Lady Wilde had a special interest in Irish folktales, which she helped to gather and was the mother of Oscar Wilde and Willie W…






Fatherless and motherless, no brothers have I,
And all my little sisters in the cold grave lie;
Wasted with hunger I saw them falling dead -
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed.

Friendless and loverless, I wander to and fro,
Singing while my faint heart is breaking fast with woe,
Smiling in my sorrow, and singing for my bread -
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed.

Harp clang and merry song by stranger's door and board,
None ask wherefore tremble my pale lips at each word;
None care why the color from my wan cheek has fled -
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed.

Smiling and singing still, tho' hunger, want, and woe,
Freeze the young life-current in my veins as I go;
Begging for my living, yet wishing I were dead -
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed.

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