William Allingham

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

The Lepracaun Or Fairy Shoemaker - Poem by William Allingham

Little Cowboy, what have you heard,
Up on the lonely rath's green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee! -
Only the grasshopper and the bee? -
'Tip-tap, rip-rap,
Tick-a-tack-too!
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight;
Summer days are warm;
Underground in winter,
Laughing at the storm! '
Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch th etiny clamour,
Busy click of an elfin hammer.
Voice of the Lepracaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade?
He's a span
And a quarter in height,
Get him in sight, hold him tight,
And you're a made
Man!

You watch your cattle the summerday,
Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay;
how would you like to roll in your carriage,
Look for a duchess's daughter in marriage?
Seize the shoemaker - then you may!
'Big boots a -hunting,
Sandals in the hall,
White for a wedding feast,
Pink for a ball.
This way, that way,
So we makea shoe;
Getting rich every stitch,
Tick-a-tack too! '
Nine and ninety treasure crocks
This keen miser fairy hath,
Hid in the mountains, woods and rocks,
Ruin and round-tow'r, cave and rath,
And where cormorants build;
From times of old
Guarded by him;
Each of them fill'd
Full to the brim
With gold!

I caught him at work one day, myself,
In the castle ditch where fox-glove grows, -
A wrinkled, wizen'd and bearded Elf,
Spectacles stuck on his pointed nose,
Silver buckles to his hose,
Leather apron - shoe in his lap -
'Rip-rap, tip-tap,
Tick-tack-too!
(A grasshopper on my cap!
Away the moth flew!)
Buskins for a fairy prince,
Brogues for his son -
Pay me well, pay me well,
When the job is done! '
The rogue was mine, beyond a doubt.
I stared at him, he stared at me;
'Servant Sir! ' 'Humph' says he,
And pull'd a snuff-box out.
He took a long pinch, look'd better pleased,
The queer little Lepracaun;
Offer'd the box with a whimsical grace, -
Pouf! He flung the dust in my face,
And while I sneezed,
Was gone!


Comments about The Lepracaun Or Fairy Shoemaker by William Allingham

  • Gold Star - 7,441 Points Douglas Scotney (6/15/2015 7:26:00 PM)

    a bit of updating and it'd be a great poem to hook a kid on verse (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 5,662 Points Francis Lynch (6/15/2015 1:14:00 PM)

    I prefer the reading of The Leprechaun's Ball. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 19,385 Points Kim Barney (6/15/2015 7:13:00 AM)

    A fanciful tale and interesting to read, but whoever typed it into Poem Hunter made a couple of spacing mistakes:
    catch TH ETINY clamour
    so we MAKEA shoe
    Will PH ever fix it? Do they ever read these comments?
    It was last edited on 29 June 2012. Let's see if they will fix it now (or not) . (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,531 Points Naida Nepascua Supnet (6/15/2015 6:53:00 AM)

    onomatopoeia galore
    and the sounds are so clear
    the leprechaun or the shoemaker
    Either which is dear (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »



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Read poems about / on: fairy, hunting, wedding, marriage, pink, daughter, lonely, silver, winter, son, summer, together, work, green, sleep



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Friday, June 29, 2012


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