Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition

Background details and bibliographic information

Selected poems by John Millington Synge

Author: John Millington Synge

File Description

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by Benjamin Hazard

Funded by University College, Cork and
The Higher Education Authority via the CELT Project.

2. Second draft.

Extent of text: 1230 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork.
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2004) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E900010-001

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


  1. John Millington Synge, Poems and translations (Dublin 1920).
  1. John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World, a comedy in three acts (Boston 1911).
  2. Augusta Gregory, Our Irish theatre (London 1914).
  3. William Butler Yeats, The death of Synge, and other passages from an old diary (Dublin 1928).
  4. Daniel Corkery, Synge and Anglo-Irish literature: a study (Cork 1931).
  5. Robin Skelton and Alan Price (eds.), Synge: the collected works (4 volumes) (Oxford 1962-68).
  6. Nicholas Greene, Synge: a critical study of the plays (London 1975).
  7. Diarmaid Ó Muirithe (ed.), The English language in Ireland (Thomas Davis Lecture Series), (Cork 1977).
  8. Robert Hogan and James Kilroy, The Abbey Theatre: the years of Synge 1905-1909 (Dublin 1978).
  9. Alan Bliss, Spoken English in Ireland: the background to the literature, 1600-1740 (Portlaoise 1979).
  10. G. J. Watson, Irish identity and the literary revival: Synge, Yeats, Joyce and O'Casey (London 1979).
  11. David H. Greene and Edward M. Stephens, John Millington Synge 1871-1909 (New York 1989).
  12. Bariou, Michel. 'À la "Belle Époque" du celtisme: le théâtre populaire et l'œuvre en prose de J. M. Synge. Ses analogies avec l'œuvre critique et romanesque d'Anatole Le Braz', in Catherine Laurent, Helen Davis (ed.) Irlande et Bretagne: vingt siècles d'histoire: actes du colloque de Rennes (29-31 mars 1993) Rennes: 1994 250-61.
  13. Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland (London 1995).
  14. Seán Ó Tuama, Repossessions: selected essays on the Irish literary heritage (Cork 1995).
  15. Anthony Roche and Augustine Martin (eds.), Bearing witness: essays on Anglo-Irish literature (Dublin 1996).
  16. W. J. McCormack, Fool of the family: a life of J.M. Synge (London 2000).
  17. Gregory Castle, Modernism and the Celtic revival (Cambridge 2001).
  18. Mary C. King, 'Disturbing events: assessing and re-assessing J.M. Synge', Bullán 6:2 (2002) 83-98.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Poems and translations. John Millington Synge First editionMaunselDublin (1920)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The poems of the present text are taken from pages 3, 14–15, 18–19, and 24–25 of the edition.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proof-read three times.


The electronic text represents the edited text.


There are no quotations.


The electronic edition adheres to the practice of the textual editor.


div0=the text group; div1=the individual poem. Page-breaks are marked pb n=""/.


Names of persons are not tagged. Neither are terms for cultural and social roles.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the poem.

Profile Description

Created: By John Millington Synge (1908)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E900010-001

Selected poems by John Millington Synge: Author: John Millington Synge


In Kerry

  1. We heard the thrushes by the shore and sea,
    And saw the golden stars' nativity,
    Then round we went the lane by Thomas Flynn,
    Across the church where bones lie out and in;
    And there I asked beneath a lonely cloud
    Of strange delight, with one bird singing loud,
    What change you'd wrought in graveyard, rock and sea,
    This new wild paradise to wake for me...
    Yet knew no more than knew those merry sins
    Had built this stack of thigh-bones, jaws and shins.

  2. p.14

    On an Anniversary

    After reading the dates in a book of Lyrics

    1. With Fifteen-ninety or Sixteen-sixteen
      We end Cervantes, Marot, Nashe or Green;
      Then Sixteen-thirteen till two score and nine,
      Is Crashaw's niche, that honey-lipped divine.
      And so when all my little work is done
      They'll say I came in Eighteen-seventy-one,
      And died in Dublin ... What year will they write
      For my poor passage to the stall of night?

    2. p.15

      To the Oaks of Glencree

      1. My arms are round you, and I lean
        Against you, while the lark
        Sings over us, and golden lights, and green
        Shadows are on your bark.
      2. There'll come a season when you'll stretch
        Black boards to cover me;
        Then in Mount Jerome I will lie, poorwretch,
        With worms eternally.

      3. p.18

        In Glencullen

        1. Thrush, linnet, stare and wren,
          Brown lark beside the sun,
          Take thought of kestril, sparrow-hawk,
          Birdlime and roving gun.
        2. You great-great-grandchildren
          Of birds I've listened to,
          I think I robbed your ancestors
          When I was young as you.

        3. p.19

          I've Thirty Months

          1. I've thirty months, and that's my pride,
            Before my age's a double score,
            Though many lively men have died
            At twenty-nine or little more.
          2. I've left a long and famous set
            Behind some seven years or three,
            But there are millions I'd forget
            Will have their laugh at passing me.
          3. 25, ix, 1908.



            With little money in a great city

            1. There's snow in every street
              Where I go up and down,
              And there's no woman man or dog
              That knows me in the town.
            2. I know each shop, and all
              These Jews and Russian Poles,
              For I go walking night and noon
              To spare my sack of coals.

            3. p.25

              The Curse

              To the sister of an enemy of the author's who disapproved of The Playboy of the Western World

              1. Lord, confound this surly sister,
                Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
                Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
                In her guts a galling give her.
              2. Let her live to earn her dinners
                In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
                Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
                And I'm your servant, J. M. Synge.