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Katharine Tynan

KATHARINE TYNAN

1859 – 1931

Katharine Tynan was born in Dublin, Ireland on 23rd January 1859. She was the daughter of a cattle farmer and spent most of her childhood on his farms. She was a keen reader and began writing poetry whilst in her teens. In 1886 she met W.B. Yeats and they became life-long friends. He even proposed to her at one point, but it was to scholar Henry Albert Hinkson that she eventually became married in 1893. Tynan suffered from bouts of depression throughout her life, but particularly after the sudden death of her husband in 1919. However, she kept writing, especially poetry, up until her death in London in 1931.

Katharine Tynan: The Old Soldier

THE OLD SOLDIER

Lesy the young soldiers be strange in heaven,
God bids the old soldier they all adored
Come to Him and wait for them, clean, new-shriven,
A happy doorkeeper in the House of the Lord.

Lest it abash them, the strange new splendour,
Lest it affright them, the new robes clean;
Here's an old face, now, long-tried, and tender,
A word and a hand-clasp as they troop in.

"My boys," he greets them: and heaven is homely,
He their great captain in days gone o'er;
Dear is the friend's face, honest and comely,
Waiting to welcome them by the strange door.

Written by Katharine Tynan