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  • Mj Pettengill

The Fairies

by William Allingham

Magical Forest, CCO
Magical Forest, CCO

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!