Friday, 1 June 2007

DAISY LUPIN FROM CATS IN THE KITCHEN, FLORA IN THE GARDEN

I love this poem by the Irish Poet, William Allingham, who has written about the darker side of Faeries. This poem used to thrill me as a child. It was in a poetry book I had and I read it so much that the book used to fall open at that page. I wish I could find the illustration that went with it, it was fantastic.



The Fairies
by
William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!
~~~

4 comments:

Rowan said...

I remember this one too - or at least the first verse, I had no idea that William Allingham had written it though. His wife, Helen Allingham, is one of my favourite artists, mostly because I love her subject matter.

Bimbimbie said...

oh, his words are so descriptive, those images flow into life as you read on - can see poor little Bridget still on her bed of flag leaves.

Sheila said...

Rowan just answered my question, I wondered if he was related to Helen Allingham. I love her cottage paintings.I learned this poem too, it was taught to me by my father.

Seesaw said...

Yes, he wrote some beautiful poems, this one being one of them.