Skip to Content

Sheep and Lambs By Katharine Tynan Hinkson – Top Irish Poem

Share this ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ˜

I am always surprised how few female poets appear on the top 100 Irish poems list. But this week, I picked number 76 from the top 100 Irish poems list. This poem is by Katharine Tynan Hinkson. I felt it was appropriate as we head out of March and into April.

Last week was the first day of Spring, and the poem Sheep and Lambs is about a lady in rural Ireland observing the Sheep and lamb on a spring day. Were you expecting a more profound meaning? haha 

sheeps and lambs poem

Who was Katharine Hinkson? 

Katharine Hinkson, or Hinkson-Tynan, was born at Whitehall dairy farm, Clondalkin, County Dublin. She was one of 12 children of Andrew Cullen Tynan and Elizabeth Reilly Tynan. It was our good friend W.B Yeats who had regular chats with her after meeting her in June 1885, in connection with C. H. Oldham’s Dublin University Review. Yeats described her as ‘very plain’ though always affectionate towards her. 

And she certainly was a busy woman; she wrote 100 novels, 12 collections of short stories, three plays, and anthologies, and innumerable articles on social questions such as poor children and women’s working conditions. Plus a whole lot more which I won’t go into here. 

Now let’s get to this short, great Irish poem. 

Sheep and Lambs By Katharine Tynan Hinkson

All in the April morning,
April airs were abroad;
The sheep with their little lambs
Pass’d me by on the road.

The sheep with their little lambs
Pass’d me by on the road;
All in an April evening
I thought on the Lamb of God.

The lambs were weary, and crying
With a weak human cry,
I thought on the Lamb of God
Going meekly to die.

Up in the blue, blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet:
Rest for the little bodies,
Rest for the little feet.

But for the Lamb of God
Up on the hill-top green,
Only a cross of shame
Two stark crosses between.

All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
I saw the sheep with their lambs,
And thought on the Lamb of God.

What did you think of this poem? 

Comment below and let others know. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to register here to get your free weekly dose of Irish straight to your inbox. 

Share this ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ˜