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Francie Lynch


The Green Brier Fire


On the Emeral Isle when the brier's green,
Occur strange sights seldom seen.
There's golden rainbows and small clay pipes,
And wee folk dancing every night.

I've heard stories of the leprechaun, but
Before I see 'em they're usually gone.
Yet one green misty eve in the brier,
I saw them jigging round the fire.

Sean and I were in green Irish woods,
Gathering shamrocks, and just being good.
While searching low near a hidden creek,
We heard faint giggles from fifty feet.

Near the giggles grew a small green fire,
Perhaps six inches high - no higher.
We crouched down for a better look, and
To our surprise we saw a small green cook.

He wore a tall green hat and pulled-up socks,
He stirred a pot of simmering shamrocks.
Smoke curled from his pipe of clay,
Why, I remember his grin still today.

A band of gold encirlced his brim,
My little finger was bigger than him.
He had golden buckles and a puggish nose,
Glimmering eyes and curly toes.

Sweet music floated on wings of air,
Fifty-one leprechauns were dancing near.
They passed the poteen with a smack of their lips,
As each one in turn took a full Gaelic sip.

Then suddenly the gaiety quickly calmed down.
Sure we were that we'd been found.
But they all looked North with reverent faces,
Bowed their heads and stood still in their places.

The Banshee's wailing was heard from afar,
O'erhead the Death Coach carried a full car.
The wee folk respect, it must be said,
Erin's children when they're dead.

Soon flying fast through the green night air,
We spied King Darby hurrying near.
He rode atop his beloved steed,
O'er dales and glens, woods and mead.

His hummingbird lighted on a leaf,
And all impatiently waited beneath.
With a golden smile he waved to all,
To officially begin the Leprechaun Ball.

Tiny green fiddlers fiddled their fiddles,
That sounded just like ten thousand giggles.
Dancers danced on mists of green,
And pipers piped, but n'er were seen.

They danced and ate and passed the jug,
And kicked up their heels to Irish reels.
We enjoyed these sights late into the night,
But suddenly they gave us a terrible fright.

They saw us cowering behind the trees,
So they cast a spell, which made us freeze.
We'd heard what happens to caught spies,
That now are spiders, toads or flies.

Well, old King Darby drew us near;
Sean and I were in a terrible fear.
With a grin and a snap he made us small,
And requested our presence at the Leprechaun Ball.

We reeled and laughed with our new found friends,
'Til the green mist lifted to signal the end.
With a glean in his eye the good King said:
''Tis sure'n the hour yous be abed.'

He waved his shillelagh to return our height,
Wished us well and bade good-night.
And as they rode the winds away,
I suddenly remembered it was St. Patrick's Day.

I'm sure the lot of you think me
A Blarney liar;
But that night, I assure you,
I danced 'round a green fire.

Submitted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I penned this for my Grade 3 class when I wasn't able to find any decent Irish poems for St. Patrick's Day.

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