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William Allingham (b. Mar. 19, 1824 - d. Nov. 18, 1889)

was born on March 19th, 1824 in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. His first volume of poems appeared in 1850. In 1870, he moved to London where he became associate editor and then editor of Frazer's Magazine. While he published a great number of poems, The Fairies continues to be the one that most of us remember from our school days.

The Fairies
by William Allingham

Here is the perfect poem to recite on Hallowe'en night...

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We dare '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 hilltop
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 hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees,
For 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 dare '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!



Spirit of the Summer-Time
by William Allingham

O spirit sweet of summertime,
Bring back the roses to the dells,
The swallow from her distant clime,
The honey bee from drowsy cells.

Bring back the singing, bring the scent
Of meadow-lands at dewy prime;
Oh! bring again my heart's content,
Thou spirit sweet of summertime.

Source: A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan
Images: Pixies from www.fredshed.co.uk/ presents.htm
Pixie dolls on toadstool: from dollmakersjourney.com/ halcomb.html
Frog from the Web Seed Professional Gallery
Photo of Mr. Allingham fron Google Images.

For more Poetry Click the Poetry Index.

 

Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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No matter who does the collecting, the works stand on their own but this is an excellent compilation and well worth adding to your library.
Click here for Yeats.


1000 Years of Irish Poetry: The Gaelic and Anglo Irish Poets from Pagan Times to the Present
by Kathleen Hoagland

Interested in Irish Poetry?Here's the easy way to collect them all (well, almost all, anyway).
Malachy McCourt says in his introduction, "With the republication of this book, the Irish recover under their roof of stars all the great poets and writers who have been falsely claimed by the saxon crown and its minions - even our reprobates."
Amazon states this is out of stock. They still have used copies for almost nothing (except shipping - chuckle). If you would like a new edition, it was available at Powell's. We can't promise it's still there. Click here for Powell's 1000 Years.
Click here for used at Amazon.


 

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