James Stephens

(9 February 1882 - 26 December 1950 / Dublin)

James Stephens
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James Stephens was an Irish novelist and poet.

James Stephens produced many retellings of Irish myths and fairy tales. His retellings are marked by a rare combination of humor and lyricism (Deirdre, and Irish Fairy Tales are often especially praise). He also wrote several original novels (Crock of Gold, Etched in Moonlight, Demi-Gods) based loosely on Irish fairy tales. "Crock of Gold," in particular, achieved enduring popularity and was reprinted frequently throughout the author's lifetime.

Stephens began his career as a poet with the tutelage of "Æ" (George William Russell). His first book of poems, "Insurrections," was published during ... more »

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The night was creeping on the ground;
She crept and did not make a sound
Until she reached the tree, and then
She covered it, and sole again
Along the grass beside the wall.

I heard the rustle of her shawl
As she threw blackness everywhere
Upon the sky and ground and air,
And in the room where I was hid:
But no matter what she did
To everything that was without,
She could not put my candle out.

So I stared at the night, and she
Stared back solemnly at me.

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