1] dog-days: the hottest time of summer, usually reckoned in the Northern hemisphere as between early July and late August.
2] Glenmacnass: mountain valley with waterfall in county Wicklow, just south of Dublin, near Glendalough.
5] Etain, Helen, Maeve, and Fand: Etain was a woman of the Sidhe, the faeries, married to the god Midir of Bri-leith; Helen of Troy was wife of Menelaus, mistress of Paris, the Cause of the Trojan war; Fand was queen of the world of the Sidhe, wedded to Manannán, god of the sea.
6] Deirdre: .
7] Bert, the big-foot, sung by Villon: François Villon (1431-after 1463), French poet in whose Grand Testament appears the character "Bert au grand pié", Bertha, wife of Pepin le Bref, taken from a medieval chanson de geste entitled Henri de Metz.
8] Cassandra, Ronsard found in Lyon: Piere de Ronsard (1524-1585) wrote a sequence of love poems about and to Cassandra Salviata, an heiress of Blois, who nonetheless rejected him.
9] Queens of Sheba, Meath and Connaught: .
10] Coifed: covering the hair.
13] Monna Lisa: Leonardo da Vinci's Giaconda, so named by reason of her interesting smile.
15] Lucrezia Crivelli: one of Ludovico Sforza's mistresses, conceivably painted by Leonardo da Vinci in his La Belle Ferronière.
16] Titian's lady with amber belly: likely a nude by the Venetian painter (1499?-1576), perhaps his Venus del Prado.
18] Jane of Jewry: unidentified.
19] the bogs of Glanna: unidentified.
20] Judith of Scripture, and Gloriana: the apocryphal book of Judith tells how she murders Holofernes to save her Jewish city of Bethnia; Edmund Spenser names Elizabeth I Gloriana in his Faerie Queene.
22] a tinker's doxy: the whore or mistress of a mender of pots and pans.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: J. M. Synge, Poems and translations (Churchtown, Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1909). del S993 A15 1909 Fisher Rare Book Library.
First publication date: 1909
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13
Other poems by J. M. Synge