They’re in Glen Aldyn still
Whatever you may say;
I’ve seen them over by the mill,
I’ve met them coming down the Gill;
And underneath the bridges
They’re just as thick as midges
At their play.
But don’t you speak a word,
For you’ll be overheard;
And in a crack the place is dark!
Not a glimmer, not a spark,
Nor sight or light of Fairy feet
Where the tumbling waters meet,
Only up above the trees,
Stirring softly in the breeze,
A laugh – Ha, ha!
And then afar
The echoes ringing to the sound
Of their singing all around.
And little hands are plucking at your hair,
And unseen voices mock you everywhere.
And suddenly the river seems to brim
With full tumultuous music, and a whim
Is in your mind that you’ll forget
That you are you,
Or what, or who,
Or whither set!
And treading softly in the middle world,
Lest by too rash adventure you be hurled
Headlong into this work-a-day again,
You find yourself on Fairy pinions borne
Hither and thither like the thistle-down
That flutters shimmering on the shallows brown,
Lying below the fields of ripening corn.
And all the glen is in a rainbow mist,
With pearly colours that the sun has kissed.
The roses fling aloft their topmost sprays
In gardens all along the water ways.
A lark is singing somewhere in the blue,
And through the mist the wood doves’ coo
Comes dreamily upon the sense,
Till all becomes so tense
That in some corner of your brain
A bit of you awakes again,
Longing to share these happy things
With others who have found their wings.
Then children’s voices break upon your dream,
At play, like Fairies in the sunny stream;
And laughing girls are bathing hands and faces
Where briar-rose with tramman interlaces
To form a tiring room for simple graces.
And never fear
But somewhere near,
About the mill,
Or up the Gill,
The fairy-folk are round about –
That merry shout!
Was it a child or the Fairy Host,
Was it a girl or a merry ghost ?
Fairies and children, you’ll find them still
Down at the bridges, or up by the mill.
gill = small glen
tramman = elder tree
(source: by ‘Cushag’ (Josephine Kermode )from Manx Melodies (1922); artwork ‘Little Fairy’ by Elenadudina)