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Winnifred M Letts

Winifred M. Letts was born in Ireland in 1882, and her early work concerned itself almost entirely with the humor and pathos found in her immediate surroundings. Her Songs from Leinster (1913) was her most characteristic collection; a volume full of the poetry of simple people and humble souls. Although she called herself "a back-door sort of bard," she was particularly effective in the old ballad measure and in her quaint portrayal of Irish peasants rather than of Gaelic kings and pagan heroes. She also wrote three novels, five books for children, a later volume of Poems of the War and, during the WW1, served as a nurse at various base hospitals.

Prayer For A Child

God keep my jewel this day from danger;
From tinker and pooka and black-hearted stranger.
From harm of the water, from hurt of the fire.
From the horns of the cows going home to the byre.
From the sight of the fairies that maybe might change her.
From teasing the ass when he's tied to the manger.
From stones that would bruise her, from thorns of the briar.
From evil red berries that wake her desire.
From hunting the gander and vexing the goat.
From the depths o' sea water by Danny's old boat.
From cut and from tumble, from sickness and weeping;
May God have my jewel this day in his keeping.