OTR Celebrates Spring with Irish Poets

 

Spring

I was about four years old when my mother introduced to me to “The Fairies” by William Allingham.  I recall my concern over poor little Bridget, until I reasoned that she really was quite alive still living with the “Wee folk, good folk.”

William Allingham was born March 19th, 1824 in Ballyshannon, County Donegal.  “The Fairies” was included in “Poems” published in 1850.  His “Day and Night Songs” published in 1855 was illustrated by none other than Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  What drew more attention, however, was his dairy appropriately named, William Allingham A Diary. Edited by his wife, Helen Allingham, a well-known water-colourist and a D. Radford, it was published posthumously in 1907.   Readers enjoyed the witty and entertaining account of his discussions with Tennyson, Carlyle and other writers and artists.

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n’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 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 the thornies set

In his bed at night.

***

Up the airy mountain

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n’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.

 

8 thoughts on “OTR Celebrates Spring with Irish Poets

  1. Our bookfayries Sir and Selma are so excited and happy about this post, they’re flying loopings between the apple trees in the garden, sending you all the best holidays wishes for easter!🙂
    Love
    Dina

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    • I love your bookfayries. And I am absolutely delighted that they are flying loopings between the apple trees in the garden. All of you have made my Easter weekend brilliant and joyful. Hugs and more hugs…

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