Learn More

William Allingham

(19 March 1824 – 18 November 1889 / Donegal / Ireland)

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 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!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Friday, June 29, 2012

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: hunting, together, green, red, fear, sorrow, music, night, lost, home, journey, dog, fairy, frog, tree, friend

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Fairies by William Allingham )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Carol Maydew (3/26/2013 2:45:00 PM)

    This takes me back to my Junior school days when the teacher taught the poem in the form of a song. The first verse sometimes seems to grab hold of my mind and goes round and round in my head. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Scott Doty (4/12/2007 3:59:00 PM)

    This has always been one of my favorites! ! Willy Wonka fans may know the first few lines :) (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Alone And Drinking Under The Moon, Li Po
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. A Visit from St. Nicholas, Clement Clarke Moore
  10. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Li Po

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

poet Marvin Brato Sr

New Poems

  1. Plural Happiness, David Rivard
  2. Wild Love, Courage Ghandih
  3. To The Dead, Leong Ming Loong
  4. I am here and still, gajanan mishra
  5. chickens in the yard eating craklin brea.., Bull Hawking
  6. Reign of Fire, Bhaskar Rabha
  7. I've got a mind full of you, Bull Hawking
  8. Culp's Hill, John F. McCullagh
  9. A Rockstar Came Travelling, Richard Whiting
  10. Re: Your Poetic License Renewal Applicat.., John F. McCullagh
[Hata Bildir]