Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland

Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland is another poem by W. B. Yeats that has made it into Ireland’s 100 favourite poems.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
W B Yeats

In the poem Yeats uses his fictional character Red Hanrahan to make his point about idealism.

Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland by W. B. Yeats, image copyright Ireland Calling

Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland

He old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand,
Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand;
Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies,
But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

The wind has bundled up the clouds high over Knocknarea,
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say.
Angers that are like noisy clouds have set our hearts abeat;
But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

The yellow pool has overflowed high up on Clooth-na-Bare,
For the wet winds are blowing out of the clinging air;
Like heavy flooded waters our bodies and our blood;
But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood
Is Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland by W. B. Yeats, image copyright Ireland Calling

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

Poems

All images copyright Ireland Calling

Ireland's 100 favourite poems

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