William Allingham

(19 March 1824 – 18 November 1889 / Donegal / Ireland)

William Allingham
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He was born in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland, and was the son of the manager of a local bank who was of English descent. He obtained a post in the custom-house of his native town and held several similar posts in Ireland and England until 1870, when he had retired from the service, and became sub-editor of Fraser's Magazine, which he edited from 1874 to 1879, in succession to James Froude. He had published a volume of Poems in 1850, followed by Day and Night Songs, a volume containing many charming lyrics, in 1855.

Allingham was on terms of close friendship with DG Rossetti, who contributed to the illustration of the Songs. His Letters to Allingham (1854-1870) were edited by... more »

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  • ''History of Ireland—lawlessness and turbulency, robbery and oppression, hatred and revenge, blind selfishness everywhere—no principle, no heroism. What can be done with it?''
    William Allingham (1824-1889), Irish poet, diarist. A Diary, ch. 8, entry for Nov. 11, 1866, eds. H. Allingham and D. Radford (1907).
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Best Poem of William Allingham

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white ...

Read the full of The Fairies

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