Biography of Jessie Mackay
Jessie Mackay was a New Zealand poet.
Her parents were Scottish. She went to Christchurch to train as a teacher, and taught at small rural schools until 1898. She moved to Dunedin, and worked as a journalist for the Otago Witness. In 1902, she moved to Christchurch where she lived with her sister Georgina. In 1906, she was lady editor of the Canterbury Times.
Her papers are held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand. The Jessie Mackay Memorial Award for Verse is given by the PEN New Zealand.
Jessie Mackay's Works:
The Spirit of the Rangatira and other ballads.. Melbourne: George Robertson. 1889.
The Sitter on the Rail and other poems. Christchurch: Simpson and Williams, 1891.
From the Maori Sea. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1908.
Land of the Morning. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1909.
The Bride of the Rivers and other verses. Christchurch: Simpson and Williams, 1926.
Vigil. Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1935
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IN Ortygia the Dawn land the old gods dwell,
And the silver’s yet a-quiver on the old wizard well
By the milk-white walls of the Temple of the Moon,
Where the Dawn Maids hallow the red gods’ tune,
And old grey Time is a nine-year child,
Back between the rivers ere man was ever ’guiled,
Or the knelling ‘Never, never!’ by the cherubim was rung.
It was there, there, there, in Ortygia the young,—
It was there, there, there, in the meadows of the sky