Cover image for Verse in English from eighteenth-century Ireland
Verse in English from eighteenth-century Ireland
Carpenter, Andrew.
Publication Information:
Cork, Ireland : Cork University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xix, 623 pages ; 23 cm
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PR8856 .V47 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This pioneering anthology introduces many previously neglected eighteenth-century writers to a general readership, and will lead to a re-examination of the entire canon of Irish verse in English.

Between 1700 and 1800, Dublin was second only to London as a center for the printing of poetry in English. Many fine poets were active during this period. However, because Irish eighteenth-century verse in English has to a great extent escaped the scholar and the anthologist, it is hardly known at all.

The most innovative aspect of this new anthology is the inclusion of many poetic voices entirely unknown to modern readers. Although the anthology contains the work of well-known figures such as John Toland, Thomas Parnell, Jonathan Swift, Patrick Delany, Laetitia Pilkington and Oliver Goldsmith, there are many verses by lesser known writers and nearly eighty anonymous poems which come from the broadsheets, manuscripts and chapbooks of the time. What emerges is an entirely new perspective on life in eighteenth-century Ireland. We hear the voice of a hard working farmer's wife from county Derry, of a rambling weaver from county Antrim, and that of a woman dying from drink. We learn about whale-fishing in county Donegal, about farming in county Kerry and bull-baiting in Dublin. In fact, almost every aspect of life in eighteenth-century Ireland is described vividly, energetically, with humor and feeling in the verse of this anthology.

Among the most moving poems are those by Irish-speaking poets who use amhran or song meter and internal assonance, both borrowed from Irish, in their English verse. Equally interesting is the work of the weaver poets of Ulster who wrote in vigorous and energetic Ulster-Scots. The anthology also includes political poems dating from the reign of James II to the Act of Union, as well as a selection of lesser-known nationalist and Orange songs. Each poem is fully annotated and the book also contains a glossary of terms in Hiberno-English and Ulster Scots.

Author Notes

Andrew Carpenter teaches English at University College Dublin.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

For this unique collection of 18th-century Irish poetry written in English, Carpenter provides a brief but informative introduction that investigates the Gaelic influence on Anglo-Irish metrics, and he reviews the several means of publication that allowed these varied works, sophisticated and not, to see the light of day in print. Although one expects to find such obvious notables as Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, this admirable anthology also includes voices from city and country, Catholic and Protestant, male and female, and upper and lower classes. What emerges from the poetry is a kaleidoscopic view of Ireland in a pivotal century of the country's historical development. Poems of green and orange political fervor intermingle with ballads of romantic love, the travail of everyday labor, and the pleasures and perils of drink. Irish wit pops up on every other page--two poems especially recommended are Lady Clare's, to a portrait painted on the bottom of her chamber pot, and Mary Shackleton's to her sister, "On her beating me with the bed-stick as she lies in Bed at her ease." Though not a necessary purchase, this learned, lively, and entertaining volume would be an asset to any academic collection. M. H. Begnal; Pennsylvania State University, University Park Cam

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
A Note on the Textsp. 34
Part I 1687-1725
Six poems from the Williamite wars, 1687-91
Lilliburlerop. 37
A Cruel and Bloody Declaration ...p. 39
from: The Irish Hudibras or, Fingallian Princep. 42
The Irishmen's Prayers to St. Patrick ...p. 49
Epitaph on the Duke of Graftonp. 51
An Irish Songp. 53
from: Panacea: A Poem upon Teap. 54
Song of the Angels at the Nativity of Our Blessed Saviourp. 56
from: Clito: a Poem on the Force of Eloquencep. 58
from: Mully of Mountownp. 61
To a Gentleman who had his Pocket Pick'd ...p. 65
An Epigram on the Riding-House in Dublin, made into a Chappelp. 66
Dorisp. 67
To -----p. 70
On the Castle of Dublin, Anno 1715p. 71
Bacchus or the Drunken Metamorphosisp. 72
An Elegie on a Favourite Dogp. 75
A Talep. 76
from: Phoenix Parkp. 77
The Smock Race at Finglasp. 79
An Eclogue in Imitation of the first Eclogue of Virgilp. 83
from: A Match at Football ...p. 90
Anonymous poems current 1710-25
from: The Signior in Fashionp. 99
A Petition to the Ladies of DUBLIN ... by the Old WASH-WOMENp. 101
from: The Cavalcade: A Poem On the RIDING the FRANCHISESp. 103
An Irish Wedding between Dick and Mollp. 107
The Irish Absentee's new Litanyp. 112
The Humble Petition of a Beautiful Young Lady To the Reverend Doctor B-rk--yp. 115
from: Hesperi-neso-graphia: or, A Description of the Western Islep. 116
The Royal Black Birdp. 126
from: The North Country Weddingp. 128
from: The Modern Poetp. 135
To Miss Georgianap. 138
Namby Pamby ... [a response by Henry Carey, (d.1743)]p. 140
Part II Swift and his Irish contemporaries (1713-45)
Verses fix'd on the Cathedral Door ...p. 145
An Epistle to his Grace the Duke of Grafton ...p. 147
His Grace's Answer to Jonathanp. 151
To Charles Ford Esqr. on his Birth-day ...p. 153
To Dr Swift on his Birth-day ...p. 158
Stella at Wood-Park ...p. 160
A Description of Doctor Delany's Villap. 164
An Epistle to His Excellency John Lord Carteret, andc.p. 166
An Epistle upon an Epistle from a certain Doctor ...p. 170
A LIBEL on D[octor] D[elany] and a Certain Great Lordp. 174
Riddles, street cries and other short versesp. 182
To the Dean, when in England, in 1726p. 187
A True and Faithful Inventory ...p. 189
Mary the Cook-Maid's Letter to Dr Sheridanp. 190
A Pastoral Dialogue ...p. 192
An Unanswerable Apology for the Richp. 194
To Mrs Frances-Arabella Kellyp. 195
The Recantation: to the same Ladyp. 196
The Invitation: To Doctor Delany at Delville, Mdcccixp. 197
Anacreon Paraphras'd, Ode viiip. 199
The Petition of the Birdsp. 201
To Miss Laetitia Van Lewenp. 203
from: Lines to an unnamed Ladyp. 205
from: The Parson's Revelsp. 207
A Receipt for Making a Doctorp. 214
On the Omission of the Words Dei Gratia in the late Coinage ...p. 220
A Character, Panegyric, and Description of the Legion Club ...p. 222
On Swift's leaving his Fortune to Build a Mad-Housep. 231
Part III 1735-60
from: Universal Beautyp. 235
Anonymous poems from the 1730s and 1740s
The Kerry Cavalcade ...p. 241
from: The Upper Galleryp. 244
An Elegy on the much lamented Death of ... all the Potatoes ...p. 248
from: A Friend in Need is a Friend in Deedp. 253
from: The Humours of the Black Dogp. 260
Epistle to Pollio, from the Hills of Howth in Irelandp. 265
from: The First Ode of the First Book of Horace Imitated ...p. 268
Miss Betty's Singing-Birdp. 271
Upon Daisy, being brought back from New Park to Stoneybatterp. 273
The Poet's Lamentation for the loss of his Cat ...p. 275
To the Revd Mr--on his Drinking Sea-Waterp. 277
A Poetical Description of Mr. NEAL's new Musick-Hall ...p. 278
from: The Parting Cup or The Humours of Deoch an Doruis ...p. 281
from: The Intrigues of Jove: a Balladp. 296
Two Poemsp. 297
Bumpers, 'Squire Jonesp. 299
Anonymous songs and poems from the 1750s
Drinking Songp. 302
On Deborah Perkins of the county of Wicklowp. 303
The Clerk's Songp. 304
TIT for TAT, or the Rater ratedp. 305
On the Spaw at Castle-connel, in the County of Limerickp. 307
A New Ballad on the Hot-Wells at Mallowp. 309
The Rakes of Mallowp. 310
Scew Ballp. 312
A Description of a Fox-Chasep. 314
An Invitation to OWEN BRAY's at Laughlin's townp. 317
from: A Familiar Epistle to J.H. Esq; near Killarneyp. 320
Tagra an Da Theampall ('The Disputation of the Two Churches')p. 323
Do Tharlaigh Inne Orm ('I met yesterday ...')p. 327
Part IV 1760-90
The Amazonian Giftp. 331
Songp. 332
from: A True Talep. 333
Anonymous poems from the 1760s
Description of Dublinp. 338
The Rakes of Stony Batterp. 339
The May Bushp. 340
from: To Mrs D.C.H., an account of the Author's manner of spending her timep. 343
from: The Deserted Villagep. 347
Song (from She Stoops to Conquer)p. 355
Lines by a Lady of Fashionp. 356
Song (from The School for Scandal)p. 357
from: The Academick Sportsmanp. 359
The Welcome to Libertyp. 364
On the Murder of a Catp. 366
To Sarah Shackleton on her beating me with the bed-stick ...p. 368
from: An heroic Epistle from Donna Teresa Pinna y Ruizp. 369
Motto inscribed on the bottom of chamber-pots beside a portrait of Richard Twissp. 375
Carolan's Receiptp. 376
Ode to Sensibilityp. 377
In praise of a Negressp. 378
from: Epistles from Swanlinbarp. 379
The Modern Lass in High Dress in MDCCLVIp. 383
Letter to Father Fitzgeraldp. 385
Chapbook verse of the 1780s
Connelly's Ale: a new songp. 387
The Connaughtman's Visit to DUBLINp. 388
The Maiden's Resolution, or an Answer to the Farmer's Sonp. 393
The Sailor Dearp. 393
The Coughing Old Manp. 395
A Drop of Dramp. 396
Corporal Caseyp. 398
Darby O'Gallagher, or the Answer to Morgan Rattlerp. 399
The New Dhooralingp. 400
Hush Cat from under the Tablep. 402
Anonymous verse from newspapers and books of the 1780s
Description of a Country Assizesp. 405
The Agent's Downfall: a new balladp. 408
Description of an Unfortunate Woman of the Townp. 410
The Lord Mayor's Ballp. 412
A New Songp. 414
Advertisement Extraordinaryp. 416
Garry Own Naugh Glora, or The Limerick Rakesp. 417
Anonymous Irish/English poems from the 1780s
The Rake's Frolick or Stauka an Varagap. 420
The Answer to Stauka an Vauragap. 423
Plearaca an Bhrathar: A New Song called the Friar's Jigg ...p. 425
On a Beef's being stole which was promis'd to the AUTHORp. 428
Four Dublin underworld poems from the 1780s
De Night afore Larry was stretch'dp. 430
Luke Caffrey's Kilmainham Minitp. 434
A New Song call'd Luke Caffrey's Gostp. 437
Lord Altham's Bullp. 442
from: The Midnight Court (translated in 1789 by Denis Woulfe)p. 446
Song for Gracey Nugent (translated from the Irish of Carolan)p. 453
Epitaph on an orphan beggar childp. 455
Part V 1790-1805
Elegy on the death of ... Miss Bridget Burnep. 459
The Freedom of John Bullp. 462
from: The Kirwanadep. 464
Lines addressed to the late Lord Clifden ...p. 466
from: The Itinerary ...p. 468
The Litany for Donerailep. 470
Written by the Barrow side ...p. 473
Ode to the Poppyp. 475
An Ode to Myselfp. 477
Ode to the Collegiansp. 478
Mary le Morep. 480
To a Hedge-hogp. 482
The Hawk and Weazlep. 484
The Country Dancep. 485
Rapture!p. 490
The Epigramp. 491
from: Stramore Patronp. 492
from: Description of Sunday Evening, spent in a Coffee-House in ... Dublinp. 496
Four anonymous 'rambling' songs
The Peregrinations of Fiachra McBradyp. 498
The Irish man's Ramble: a new songp. 500
McClure's Ramblep. 502
Shales's Rambles, or the Lurgan Weaverp. 503
Anonymous poems from the 1790s
The Colleen Ruep. 507
The Irish Phoenixp. 508
The Siege of Troyp. 510
Paddy MacShane's Seven Agesp. 511
Sally Mac Geep. 513
Paddy the Piperp. 514
The Ladies Dress, or the Downfall of the Stay-Makersp. 515
A New Song call'd The Lord Lieutenant's Farewell to the Kingdom of Irelandp. 517
A New Song on the Half-Pence being cry'd down ...p. 518
Sweet Castle-Hydep. 520
The Groves of Blarneyp. 523
from: The Transformationp. 526
A Question to the Society of Freemasons (answered by an anonymous Dublin freemason)p. 530
Answerp. 531
To T.W.M.--a, Esq.p. 531
A rejoinder to Mrs Jane Eliz Moore's Repledump. 532
Answer to the above Replicationp. 533
The Wake of William Orrp. 535
The Chimney-Sweeper's Complaintp. 537
from: Killarney: a poemp. 539
Song composed on the Banks of Newfoundlandp. 542
The Passengersp. 544
The Executionp. 550
To the Reverend T[homas] T[ighe], Parson's Hillp. 552
The Deserter's Meditationp. 556
Nationalist verse of the 1790s
Liberty and Equality or Dermot's Delightp. 557
The Star of Libertyp. 559
Paddy's Advice to John Bullp. 560
from: The United Irishmen: A Tale, founded on Factsp. 561
Come all you Warriorsp. 566
Dunlavin Greenp. 569
The Croppy Boyp. 570
The Patriot Motherp. 571
Green upon the Capep. 573
The Exiled Irishman's Lamentationp. 574
Three Orange Songs
Lisnagadep. 576
Protestant Boysp. 577
The Tree of Libertyp. 578
Lines written on the Burying-Ground of Arbour Hill ...p. 580
Songp. 582
Love versus the Bottlep. 583
Written at Rossana, November 18, 1799p. 585
Written at Killarney, July 29, 1800p. 586
from: The Author's Farewell to Dublin: a poemp. 587
Translation of Ode IX by Anacreonp. 589
Songp. 590
The Dublin Fancy Ware-House, No. one, Lower Ormond-Quayp. 592
Glossaryp. 597
Sources of the textsp. 605
Indexp. 615