Lady Jane Wilde
Lady Jane Wilde Poems
The Famine Year
Weary men, what reap ye? —Golden corn for the stranger.
What sow ye? —Human corses that wait for the avenger.
Fainting forms, hunger‐stricken, what see you in the offing?
Stately ships to bear our food away, amid the stranger's scoffing.
There's a proud array of soldiers—what do they round your door?
They guard our masters' granaries from the thin hands of the poor.
Pale mothers, wherefore weeping? —Would to God that we were dead
Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them bread.
Little children, tears are strange upon your infant faces,
God meant you...
Tis midnight, falls the lamp‐light dull and sickly,
On a pale and anxious crowd,
Through the court, and round the judges, thronging thickly,
With prayers none dare to speak aloud.
Two youths, two noble youths, stand prisoners at the bar
You can see them through the gloom
In pride of life and manhood’s beauty, there they are
Awaiting their death doom.