"Magnificat" (1917) by Geraldine Plunkett Dillon

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"Magnificat" (1917) by Geraldine Plunkett Dillon


"Magnificat" By Geraldine Plunkett Dillon (1891-1986) Published Dublin, Ireland
Published Candle Press, 1917

Geraldine Plunkett Dillon (1891 – 1986) was born in Dublin. She published a single pamphlet of poems, Magnificat, from The Candle Press in Rathgar in 1917, which sold for sixpence. Her brother Joseph Mary was executed for his part in the 1916 rising. She was the mother of Eilís Dillon and grandmother of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.

The pamphlet is published in toto on the Poethead Website at Online URL: https://poethead.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/magnificat-1917-by-geraldine-plunkett-dillon/

"Magnificat" is featured on Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/magnificat00pluniala



Poethead Publication date 14/10/2017 (Online)
Internet Archive Upload date 24/03/2007
Electronic chapbook - ISSUU - PDF
Public Domain Mark 1.0
Internet Archive

by Geraldine Plunkett Dillon (1891 – 1986)

1 (Untitled)

While you are in Kilkenny town,
I see your grace in every tree;
Your hair is as the branches brown,
The birches have your bravery.

Your strength in mountain oaks I find,
Eagles in this have built their nest;
With supple sally twigs you bind
My willing heart unto your breast.

Cypress and cedar spreading wide
Under your peace my heart will sleep;
O rowan tree that grows beside
My pool of love, your roots drink deep.

2 June

I fill my heart with stores of memories,
Lest I should ever leave these loved shores;
Of lime trees humming with slow drones of bees,
And honey dripping sweet from sycamores.

Of how a fir tree set upon a hill,
Lifts up its seven branches to the stars;
Of the grey summer heats when all is still,
And even grasshoppers cease their little wars.

Of how a chestnut drops its great green sleeve,
Down to the grass that nestles in the sod;
Of how a blackbird in a bush at eve,
Sings to me suddenly the praise of God.

3 The North Wind

O rare North Wind whose cutting edge is keen,
Joyfully brushing up the countryside,
Tossing aloft the yellow buds and green,
A little southward eddie creeps around
When all the West is blushing like a bride,
Sweet is the southward eddie near the ground.

The heavy tide rolls in the billows blue,
Save in the purple depth where seaweed lies;
The seagulls out against the clouds are few,
But O, the sea is white among the rocks;
The whipped foam white in the North Wind flies,
High in the sky are flung the North Wind’s locks.

4 To Saint Francis

O Francis, I have listened at your feet
And tried to catch your quick humility,
I caught the meaning of your counsels sweet
And found the peace that is within your words;
I’ve loved with you the fishes of the sea,
I’ve been the little sister to the birds.

I am in fellowship with all the world
The rivers singing to me as they run,
The flowers spoke to me as they unfurled
The dumb earth sobs to me in earthquake jars;
As you were little brother to the sun,
I am the little sister of the stars.

5 Gan Ainm

Your gracious joy distils my heart, as dew
Which your great love will gather to a whole
And bind the waters to a stream anew,
To wind among the gardens of your soul;

The unthinkable sweetness of your kiss
Has made my soul a flame, and up it goes,
Finding its way among the stars in bliss
To hide itself in the eternal rose.

6 Magnificat

A fold of Heaven’s curtain swung aside
Splitting the blackness of the winter’s night,
Blown by the breath of God it opens wide;
I saw the holy ones in companies
Led by archangels armoured for the fight;
I heard the shrill eternal symphonies.

I did not thrust my sorrow-twisted face
Amongst the splendours of the heavenly town
Nor walk misshapen with the forms of grace
Girded for battle in celestial wars;
And yet, my God, an angel has come down
And crowned me with the glory of the stars.

7 Si Quis Amat

In my dream of peace,
One sound breaks silence
The sweetness of increase
As honey downward drips
Through the bars of sense
Down to my soul’s lips.

For whose joyous choice
My heart sings of it
Shouts with a loud voice
No fear or regret
Si quis amat novit
Quid haec vox clamet

[If a man loves, he will know the sound of this voice.]

8 Before Her Judge

In all my life, there happened things just three
First I was born;
Marriage came next to one who seemed like Thee
I died this morn.

My man, my babes, my life, I loved too well,
To walk Thy ways.
Must I now hate eternally in Hell
Unending days?

There is one plea beneath which I can hide,
O Beauteous One!
Your Father, Christ, forsook you; but I died
To save my son.

Magnificat is courtesy of and © Geraldine Plunkett Dillon’s great-granddaughter Isolde Carmody

© Geraldine Plunkett Dillon


Geraldine Plunkett Dillon (1891-1986)
Isolde Carmody (Copyright & Permissions)
Chris Murray (Online Publisher)


'Magnificat' 1917 Published at Poethead on October 14th 2017


Candle Press (1917), Internet Archive (2007) WordPress by Chris Murray (2017)


1917, 2007, 2017 -


Geraldine Plunkett Dillon (1891-1986)
Isolde Carmody (Rights and Permissions)
Chris Murray (Online Publisher)


"Magnificat" © Geraldine Plunkett Dillon’s estate and courtesy of Isolde Carmody



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