London: Kegan Paul, 1889. First edition. pp. vi, 156. Dark blue cloth, title on gilt on upper cover and spine, with publishers monogram stamped in blind on lower cover. Owner’s signature on front fly leaf. A near fine copy.
The title of the poem is taken from a verse dialogue between the seasoned warrior Oisin and Saint Patrick. It recounts Oisin’s adventures in Tir-nan-Oge (the land of youth) with the immortal Niamh and the poem ends with the hero returning to the mortal world. Yeats probably based his narrative on Brian O’Looney’s translation although it was also suggested he worked from the Gaelic Union school edition of the poem.
In 1938 Yeats wrote that ‘The Wanderings of Oisin’ “was published by subscription, John O’Leary finding almost all the subscribers”.