The George Beattie Project - A Poet Lost in Time


James Clarence Mangan
(b. May 1, 1803 - d. June 20, 1849)

...born in Dublin, the son of a poor grocer, his father having failed to retain a job in ‘eight successive establishments’; forced him to work as a clerk in the scrivening office of Thomas Kenrick (‘dull drudgery ... my heart felt as if it were gradually growing into the inanimate material I wrote on’).
He started learning languages with the guidance of a Fr. Graham who taught him Latin, Spanish, French and German. He wrote ‘charades, enigmas & riddles’ for almanacs and directories under pseudonyms.
He contributed to: The Dublin Penny Journal (as "Clarence"), The Satirist, Dublin University Magazine, Irish Monthly Magazine, and early editions of The Nation.
He fell ill during a cholera epidemic and was carried into the Meath Hospital, having been found by William Wilde in ‘a state of indescribable misery and squalor occupying a wretched hovel where he had retired to die’; he died in that hospital very soon after.
He was commemorated by Thomas MacDonagh in verse as the ‘poor splendid Poet of the burning eyes’; he was called by Yeats ‘our one poet raised to the first rank by intensity’, and by Joyce in an essay of 1907 ‘the failed standard-bearer of a failed nation’, but also ‘one of the world’s most inspired poets’.
Mangan has been called one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century. His life may only be considered miserable. He was an opium addict at one time and a hard drinker. His fame is late in coming. Only his
Dark Rosaleen
was on the Irish Times list of favorite poems. To my taste he has better to choose from; he wrote over a thousand poems. Let this be a beginning for all those who are fond of poetry. The discovery of James Clarence Mangan will be rewarded.

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James Clarence Mangan
I made this video in the memory of Irelands great , but not well remembered, poet, James Clarence Mangan.You can read an ebook containing his poetry here -

Dark Rosaleen
by James Clarence Mangan

O my Dark Rosaleen,
Do not sigh, do not weep!
The priests are on the ocean green,
They march along the deep.
There 's wine from the royal Pope,
Upon the ocean green;
And Spanish ale shall give you hope,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My own Rosaleen!
Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,
Shall give you health, and help, and hope,
My Dark Rosaleen!
Over hills, and thro' dales,
Have I roam'd for your sake;
All yesterday I sail'd with sails
On river and on lake.
The Erne, at its highest flood,
I dash'd across unseen,
For there was lightning in my blood,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My own Rosaleen!
O, there was lightning in my blood,
Red lightning lighten'd thro' my blood.
My Dark Rosaleen!
All day long, in unrest,
To and fro, do I move.
The very soul within my breast
Is wasted for you, love!
The heart in my bosom faints
To think of you, my Queen,
My life of life, my saint of saints,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My own Rosaleen!
To hear your sweet and sad complaints,
My life, my love, my saint of saints,
My Dark Rosaleen!
Woe and pain, pain and woe,
Are my lot, night and noon,
To see your bright face clouded so,
Like to the mournful moon.
But yet will I rear your throne
Again in golden sheen;
'Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My own Rosaleen!
'Tis you shall have the golden throne,
'Tis you shall reign, and reign alone,
My Dark Rosaleen!
Over dews, over sands,
Will I fly, for your weal:
Your holy delicate white hands
Shall girdle me with steel.
At home, in your emerald bowers,
From morning's dawn till e'en,
You'll pray for me, my flower of flowers,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My fond Rosaleen!
You'll think of me through daylight hours,
My virgin flower, my flower of flowers,
My Dark Rosaleen!
I could scale the blue air,
I could plough the high hills,
O, I could kneel all night in prayer,
To heal your many ills!
And one beamy smile from you
Would float like light between
My toils and me, my own, my true,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My fond Rosaleen!
Would give me life and soul anew,
A second life, a soul anew,
My Dark Rosaleen!
O, the Erne shall run red,
With redundance of blood,
The earth shall rock beneath our tread,
And flames wrap hill and wood,
And gun-peal and slogan-cry
Wake many a glen serene,
Ere you shall fade, ere you shall die,
My Dark Rosaleen!
My own Rosaleen!
The Judgement Hour must first be nigh,
Ere you can fade, ere you can die,
My Dark Rosaleen!

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Bridget Hourican on James Clarence Mangan
James Clarence Mangan in The Nation Newspaper or The Making of a National Poet.Bridget Hourican gives a talk on one of Ireland's greatest poets.

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