Poesie: Allingham’s The Fairies

Legends of the wee little men persist everywhere, but the Irish have known to be particularly attuned to the presence of the good folk.

This is another poem we have known for a long time, something the girls used to love hearing when they were little.  The fairy illustrations on this post are Arthur Rackham’s, obviously.

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 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!

~ William Allingham (1824 – 1889)

celtic lady

 

Monsters of the World: Nue

Pretty creepy, I say!

Found only in remote areas of Japan, the Nue with its monkey-like head and tiger-like legs is regarded as a bringer of bad luck.  This is most likely due to the black venomous cloud it emits from under its snaky tail when disturbed.

Pretty creepy, I say!

Nue-preview.jpg

Art Tuesday: Color Fox!

Do you believe in spirits?

A Fylygja, or Fetch, is a kind of guardian angel, guardian spirit or tutelary entity which was held to follow each person or family.  The relationship was established at the ceremony of naming.  The Fylygja was experienced as a source of magical power,

I made it look all colorful!

color fox

Tis the Season: An Ulster Scots Ghost Story

This is the story o’ Stumpy’s Brae

And the murderer’s fearful fate.

Young friend, your face is turned that way,

You’ll be ganging the night that gate.

Stumpy’s Brae, or The Legend of Tom the Toiler

Set in rural Ulster in the early 1700’s, this drama is an Ulster-Scots ghost story based on the poem by Cecil Francis Alexander.

Poem can be found at derryghosts.com/stumpy.htm

Last Day of Summer

Enjoy the last day of summer.

It’s official:  Tomorrow, the Autumnal Equinox is upon us and summer is over for this year.  Enjoy the last day of summer therefore, and greet fall tomorrow.

fern and web featured

Cosmic events matter, you know.

grapes featured2

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX 2018: FACTS & FOLKLORE ABOUT THE FIRST DAY OF FALL 2018

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.

–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft

And fulgent sorcery enfolds

Happy birthday to one of our favorite authors!  The Horror at Red Hook is my favorite story but the girls have their own, naturally.

On Reading Lord Dunsany’s Book of Wonder

By H. P. Lovecraft

The hours of night unheeded fly,
And in the grate the embers fade;
Vast shadows one by one pass by
In silent daemon cavalcade.

But still the magic volume holds
The raptur’d eye in realms apart,
And fulgent sorcery enfolds
The willing mind and eager heart.

The lonely room no more is there—
For to the sight in pomp appear
Temples and cities pois’d in air
And blazing glories—sphere on sphere.

If you are not so sure what H.P. is talking about here, find a really good book to read.  At your earliest possible convenience.  Maybe Lord Dunsany’s Book of Wonder can do the trick for you!

Here’s a little tidbit of knowledge that might pique your interest in The Book of Wonder:

Lord Dunsany employed the talents of Sidney Sime to illustrate his fantasy short story collections, but ‘The Book of Wonder’ is unique in that Sydney Sime drew the illustrations first, and Lord Dunsany wrote the tales to incorporate them:

‘I found Mr Sime one day, in his strange house at Worplesdon, complaining that editors did not offer him very suitable subjects for illustration; so I said: “Why not do any pictures you like, and I will write stories explaining them, which may add a little to their mystery?”‘

quoted from the “Book of Wonder” wiki

Óðins Skegg! It’s Loki!

Tabanus atratus

In Norse mythology, Loki took the form of a gadfly to hinder Brokkr during the manufacture of Mjölnir.  He probably looked a lot like the fellow below (click for larger view).

black bug featured

Science classifies him as a male Tabanus atratus, a Black Horse Fly, first accurately depicted by Robert Hooke who “marvelled at the eyes of a “drone fly” in his Micrographia (1665)”.

I still think it was Loki.

Oh Help! Oh No!

Quick, get the hose!!

It’s a Triffid attacking the house!

triffid featured

Quick, get the hose!!

triffid featured1

Don’t know what a Triffid is?  Here’s what the experts say:

triffid featured5

“Triffids are tall, carnivorous, mobile plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behavior. They are able to move about by “walking” on their roots, appear to communicate with each other, and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill their victims and feed on their rotting carcasses.”

triffid featured4

Here it comes……

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