William Allingham
Donegal / Ireland
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The Fairies

Rating: 3.7
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.
If 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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COMMENTS
Matt Turner 09 February 2020
My Grandfather sang the first two stanzas of this song with his parents in the 1920s and the song has been passed down as a car trip sing-along in our family ever since. My children love it too.
3 0 Reply
Varina Yazell 03 May 2018
Very well written. I really enjoyed
1 0 Reply
Sylvaonyema Uba 23 February 2017
High on the hill top The old king sits Nicely written with musical harmony. Sylva.
1 1 Reply
Sally Plumb Plumb 17 January 2017
Lovely! The first stanza reminds of. nursery recitations.
0 2 Reply
* Sunprincess * 14 January 2017
.....a most fabulous and fantastic fairy poem, I enjoyed ?
0 2 Reply
Susan Williams 14 January 2017
This could be sung accompanied by a banjo and a mouth organ and hands slapping the knees! Enjoyed the sparkle in this poem
0 2 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 14 January 2017
A simply superb song that is a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing it here.
1 1 Reply
Tom Allport 14 January 2017
the magic in this poem is all sparkly and bright.
1 2 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 14 January 2017
Deep within the lake! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
1 2 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 14 January 2017
I enjoyed reading this awesome poem+++++++++ thanks for sharing+++++
1 2 Reply

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