[From Manx Melodies, 1922]
They're in Glen Aldyn still
Whatever you may say;
I've seen them round about 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 the work-a-day again;
You find yourself on fairy pinions borne
Hither and thither like the thistledown
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 top-most 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 a 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 l
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 at the mill.