On Tiveragh Hill

On Tiv-ra Hill near Cushendall,
I heard a commotion behind a wall,
I stopped and looked over, and boys-o-boys!
Now what do you think was making the noise?

‘Twas a Hurley match- and may I choke-
It was two wee teams of the Fairy folk
That was ripplin’ and tearin’ and weltin’ away
In the light of the moon as bright as day.

And their playing pitch was hardly as big
As my Uncle Barney’s potato rig;
And me there watchin’ them puck and clout-
At the back o’ the wall with my eyes stuck out.

When all at once, like the squeal of a hare,
A wee voice shouted, “Who’s that up there?”
And a bit off a thing about nine-inch tall
Came climbing up to the top of the wall.

And he stood there; he stood about pot-size
With his two wee fingers up at my eyes,
And it’s God’s own truth that I’m speakin’ mind ye,
“Get out o’ that,” says he, “or I’ll blind ye!”

Aye that’s just what he said, “I’ll blind ye,” says he
And by Jing what he said was enough for me,
Did I run? Aye surely; I didn’t miss-
And I haven’t seen Tiveragh from that to this.

Written by: H. Browne


A Sea Child

The lover of child Marjory
Had one white hour of life brim full
Now the old nurse, the rocking sea,
Hath him to lull

The daughter of child Marjory
Hath in her veins, to beat and run
The glad indomitable sea,
The strong white sun.

Written by: Bliss Carman

Sea Longing

Sore sea-longing in my heart,
Blue deep Barra waves are calling
Sore sea-longing in my heart.
Glides the sun, but ah! How slowly,
Far away to luring seas.
Sore sea-longing in my heart,
Blue deep Barra waves are calling
Sore sea-longing in my heart.
Hear’st, O Sun, the roll of waters,
Breaking, calling by yon Isle?
Sore sea-longing in my heart,
Blue deep Barra waves are calling
Sore sea-longing in my heart.
Sun on high, ere falls the gloamin’,
Heart to heart, thou’lt greet yon waves.
Mary Mother how I yearn,
Blue deep Barra waves are calling
May Mother how I yearn.

Written by: Kenneth Macleod

The Shadow People

Old lame Bridget doesn’t hear
Fairy music in the grass
When the gloaming’s on the mere
And the shadow people pass:
Never hears their slow grey feet
Coming from the village street
Just beyond the parson’s wall,
Where the clover gloves are sweet
And the mushroom’s parasol
Opens in the moonlit rain.
Every night I hear they call
From their long and merry train.
Old lame Bridget says to me,
“It is just your fancy child.”
She cannot believe I see
Laughing faces in the wild,
Hands that twinkle in the sedge
Bowing at the water’s edge
Where the finny minnows quiver,
Shaping on a blue wave’s ledge
Bubble foam to sail the river.
And the sunny hands to me
Beckon ever, beckon ever.
Oh! I would be wild and free,
And with the shadow people be.

Written by: Francis Ledwidge

When Erin First Rose

When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God blessed the green island and saw it was good;
The em’rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blessed,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp ‘mid the ocean’s deep roar.

But when its soft tones seem to mourn and to weep,
The dark chain of silence is thrown o’er the deep;
At the thought of the past the tears gush from her eyes,
And the pulse of her heart makes her white bosom rise.
O! Sons of green Erin, lament o’er the time
When religion was war, and our country a crime
When man in God’s image inverted his plan,
And molded his God in the image of man.

When the int’rest of state wrought the general woe,
The stranger a friend, and the native a foe;
While the mother rejoiced o’er her children oppressed,
And clasp’d the invader more close to her breast.
When with pale for the body and pale for the soul,
Church and state joined in compact to conquer the whole,
And as Shannon was stained with the Milesian blood,
Ey’d each other askance and pronounced it was good.

By the groans that ascend from your forefather’s grave
For the country thus left to the brute and the slave,
Drive the demon of bigotry home to his den,
And where Britain made brutes now let Erin make men.
Let my sons like the leaves of the shamrock unite,
A partition of sects from one footstalk of right,
Give each his full share of the earth and sky,
No fatten the slave where the serpent would die.
Alas! For poor Erin that some are still seen,
Who would dye the grass red from their hatred to green,
Yet, oh! When you’re up and they’re down, let them live,
Then yield them that mercy which they would not give.
Arm of Erin, be strong! But be gentle as brave;
And uplifted to strike, be still ready to save;
Let no feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause of, or men of, the Emerald Isle

The cause it is good, and the men they are true,
And the Green shall outlive both the Orange and Blue
And the triumphs of Erin her daughters shall share
With the full swelling chest, and the fair flowing hair.
Their bosoms heave high for the worthy and brave,
But no coward shall rest in that soft-swelling wave;
Men of Erin! Awake, and make haste to be blest!
Rise! Arch of the ocean, and queen of the West!

Written by: William Drennan

Woodland Wedding

Travel with me to the land of dreams,
Where rivers of music, paint rainbow scenes.
And dancing on air, our spirits take flight
Off to a forest, on this special night.
Into a clearing so bright and so gay,
Lit up by lanterns, of firefly display.
A Faerie king waits, for his lover so true,
Surrounded by courtiers, all dressed in blue.
And as you look ‘round, more Faeries you see,
Flitting through branches, in nearby trees.
Small shining faces, hearts filled with pride,
Patiently waiting, for their Faerie king’s bride.

Tension builds up, as the nightingales trill,
And Faerie musicians add more to the thrill.
Just when you think, you can’t take any more,
The air splits asunder, with tremendous furor.
A Faerie up high, in the tallest tall tree,
Announces the arrival- of the wedding party.
Fanfares now sound from triumphant horns,
For a carriage that’s pulled by unicorns.
Sitting in comfort, inside her glass coach,
Is a beautiful Faerie beyond reproach.
While bluebells are chiming, and harebells ring,
The carriage draws close, and halts by the king.

A ladybird footman, now opens the door,
And his bride sets foot, on the soft moss floor.
Her ladies in waiting, now come to her aid,
To fulfill their promise, they long ago made.
Smiling she turns to her champion so true,
And they pledge their troth, as young lovers do.
A kingdom enjoys, the wedding banquet,
Around mushroom tables so neatly set.
A feast of honey and blackberry wine,
Strawberries and grapes, plucked fresh from the vine.
Blessed with wisdom, by an old Faerie earl,
The forest rang out; with the word- Tulipearl!*

The Faerie musicians play liquid tunes,
That splash and tinkle, their way to the moon.
The feasting all over, time now to dance,
They celebrate life, see how they all prance.
The king leads his queen, while courtiers sing,
Charms of good fortune, and all that they bring.
While Faeries whirl round, this beautiful sight,
Laughing and singing, on through the night.
With heads full of wine, and joy in their hearts,
The king and his queen, now turn to depart.
Well-wishers cheer, as the coach pulls away,
Together they’ll stand to face a new day.

The firefly lanterns, go out one by one,
Replaced by the light, of a golden new dawn.
Small tired bodies, with eyes full of sleep,
Gently flit home with secrets to keep.
And while they slumber, in their tiny beds
Dreams of the wedding, now fill their heads.
And just like the Faeries, our time has come
For us to go too, and return back home.
We traveled in spirit to the land of my dreams,
Where rivers of music, paint rainbow scenes.
And when we awake, the message unfurls,
There’s no greater feeling, than Tulipearl*.


Poem written by: Wm. Tony (The Crow) Crowther
Visit Tony’s website: http://www.freewebs.com/crowsnestpoetry/index.htm