Ada Tyrrell Poems

Ada Tyrrell Poems,Born in 1854, Ada Tyrrell was a minor poet and Irish socialite who is known in literary terms for her Great War poem, My Son, which caught the public attention when it was published in 1917. She was the daughter of the academic Robert Yelverton Tyrrell who contributed to Trinity College in Dublin where he was the Professor of Greek for a number of years.

Ada Tyrrell Poems


Ada Tyrrell Bio

Not much is known about the details of her life but she was thought to be a good friend of playwright George Bernard Shaw and one of the most gregarious individuals in Dublin at the time. Well known for her wit and keen intelligence, Tyrrell ran a salon in Dublin to which the good and great, including many politicians and artists used to come to visit. She married Sir John Perronet Thompson whose own father was a great reformist and was, for a while, governor of Sierra Leone.
Ada Tyrrell Poems
Ada Tyrrell Poems

The poem first appeared in A Treasury of War Poetry that was published in 1917, a year before the conflict actually ended. The collection was edited by George Herbert Clarke and the poem caught the public’s attention more for its sentiment rather than the technical ability of the poetry. It was the only work that Tyrrell published over her lifetime but has endured to this day as the perfect example of a mother’s love for her child at war.

She died in 1955 when in her nineties.

Ada Tyrrell Poems
Ada Tyrrell Poems

Ada Tyrrell Poems

My Son

Here is his little cambric frock
That I laid by in lavender so sweet,
And here his tiny shoe and sock
I made with loving care for his dear feet.

I fold the frock across my breast,
And in imagination, ah, my sweet,
Once more I hush my babe to rest,
And once again I warm those little feet.

Where do those strong young feet now stand?
In flooded trench, half numb to cold or pain,
Or marching through the desert sand
To some dread place that they may never gain.

God guide him and his men to-day!
Though death may lurk in any tree or hill,
His brave young spirit is their stay,
Trusting in that they’ll follow where he will.

They love him for his tender heart
When poverty or sorrow asks his aid,
But he must see each do his part–
Of cowardice alone he is afraid.

I ask no honours on the field,
That other men have won as brave as he–
I only pray that God may shield
My son, and bring him safely back to me!

Ada Tyrrell Poems
Ada Tyrrell Poems



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