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.


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