#OTD in 1896 – Lady Jane Wilde (Speranza), poet, nationalist and the mother of Oscar, dies in London.

Jane Francesca Agnes, later Lady Wilde and mother of Oscar dies in London. She became famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of ‘Speranza.’ Speranza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably:

‘The Famine Year’.

Weary men, what reap ye?—Golden corn for the stranger.
What sow ye?— human corpses 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.

Image | National Library of Ireland

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