Happy St Patrick’s Day

I thought this year I would put a shout out to all of the UK countries Patron Saints Days as each has its own unique story, steeped in old myths and legends.

Today is Irelands St Patricks Day also know as the Feast of Saint Patrick. It’s a time when the Irish wear their National Emblem, the Shamrock, and dress up in colours of green. St Patricks Day only be for one day but celebrations have been known to last several days where parades and festivals are held and people get together to eat, drink and be merry.

Of course, as most of you will know, St Patricks day is not only celebrated in Ireland but all over the world where there are Irish descendants and patriots celebrating their heritage.

The poem I’ve decide to post today is one that I vaguely remember from a long time ago. Written by the Irish Poet William Allingham, the title is, I think, a bit deceiving. I believe this poem is more specific to a different supernatural creature than that of the title. I think you’ll know what I mean when you read it.

The Fairies

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 watchdogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
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 the 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 fig-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For my 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!

 

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