Ellan Vannin

Ellan Vannin

To the Isle – to the fairy isle over the seas,
Where spangles are bright on its musical breeze;
Where the skies they are dappled with shadows that gleam,
And the nights are alight with the shooting-stars’ stream,
And gorse with its gold, and the heather-bells group
On the heights of the rock whence the dark eagles swoop,
Where scarlet-capp’d moss, and the feather-cut fern
Have mantled, for ages, the warrior’s cairn.

And Baal fires crackle, blaze and leap
Over the hills where the Druids sleep,
Under the bush on the mountain side –
The whin bush – where the wizards hide.
And tiny things that frolic above
Our fairy-rings are hand and glove
With the Storm-King, driving his trackless steeds
O’er fens and breaks and tangled weeds,
Till the caverned earth and crooning sea
Are wild with their mad revelrie.

To Manannan’s Isle – sitting alone
On her iron-grey cliffs up-lifted throne,
While the flashing sky, high over head,
And the curling main around her spread
Guard with a watchful jealous care
The realm of old Manann’ Beg Mac-y-Leir,
And wreathe their purest diamond sheen
Into a crown for the rock-throned Queen.


(source:  Ellan Vannin from ‘Poems from Manxland’ by Elizabeth Cookson, 1868; photograph http://bit.ly/1bFdSad)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


Tags assigned to this article:
poetry

Related Articles

Lament of the Old Horse’s Ghost

Ye horses all, who may pass by This spot where rest my bones, Behold my head, which once was high,

Sunbeams

Look my belovèd at the waving grass, forest and field, and garden herbage mute; bow to the winds and let

Li’l Graysie

Did ya hear the sad news Emma Cowla? ’bout the li’l chil’ from the gill tha’s been took? Aye, she