The Fairies by William Allingham read by Murray Lachlan Young Up the airy mountain Down the rushy glen, We dare n’t go a-hunting, For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather. Down along the rocky shore Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam; Some in the reeds Of the black mountain-lake, With frogs for their watch-dogs, All night awake. High on the hill-top The old King sits; He is now so old and gray He’s nigh lost his wits. With a bridge of white mist Columbkill he crosses, On his stately journeys From Slieveleague to Rosses; Or going up with music, On cold starry nights, To sup with the Queen, Of the gay Northern Lights. They stole little Bridget For seven years long; When she came down again Her friends were all gone. They took her lightly back Between the night and morrow; They thought she was fast asleep, But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since Deep within the lake, On a bed of flag leaves, Watching till she wake. By the craggy hill-side, Through the mosses bare, They have planted thorn trees For pleasure here and there. Is any man so daring As dig them up in spite? He shall find the thornies set In his bed at night. Up the airy mountain Down the rushy glen, We dare n’t go a-hunting, For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather. Audio created by Robert Nichol AudioProductions

19 Responses to “William Allingham – The Fairies – poem”

  • TheFairyboy17:

    this is nice

  • Brady Falcon:

    I find it interesting to listen to this poem in relation to extraterrestrials. Like, could you imagine if he made contact with aliens, tried to tell people, then was looked upon as insane? And the only way he could express his experiences was through this poem? Not saying this is fact, just think it’s kind of cool to think about.

  • ottyflyer1:

    I can remember my father reciting this to me when I was a child over 50 yrs ago.

  • glenitroyal:

    Look, you have a very nice voice but the rhythm was all wrong. You need to be marching. The line “wee folk, good folk, trooping all together…” tells you that. Also, instead of your “wondrous” tone of voice, give us a firm ‘this is how it is’ tone of voice. You almost put me to sleep. Ask any Donegal person and they’ll recite it properly;)

  • misswatson2009:

    Omg this is in Willy wonka o_o “Down the rushy Glenn, we dare’nt go a hunting for fear of little men” That old man says it to charlie.

  • XxHarmony63Xx:

    @Frosty/ferg Yes it is! tell me more, where do you live. How are you related? Tell about your letters. Tell me tell me!!

  • Frostyferg:

    Wow… It’s a small world!

  • XxHarmony63Xx:

    To Frosty/ferg… it appears we’re related, hello!

  • XxHarmony63Xx:

    This is lovely, I am an Allingham myself, this is a great great uncle of mine so I am feeling a bit of family pride as well. lol

  • StabbyMcButterPants:

    There were a few “the’s” slipped into the poem now and then, but we’ll forgive you this one time. 🙂

  • StillWondering1:

    Who are the letters to? Have you anything else? I’m writing about him. Would be grateful if you’d contact.

  • JustAudio2008:

    William Allingham was 1824-1889 -but I am not sure at what point this was written

  • VDVShaun:

    Do you know the age of this poem ?

  • Frostyferg:

    I’m related to this dude… I have some of his letters framed in my front room

  • Budsavoie:

    The Irish Rovers sang this to the tune “King of the Faeries”.


  • JustAudio2008:

    It was one of the poems that inspired Murray Lachlan Young to become a poet.
    His mother read it to him when he was a little boy.
    Check out ‘MurrayLachlanYoung2’ on Youtube -you can hear how he turned out as a poet in his own right.
    Good poems never die.

  • janeeytre:

    Allingham would be thrilled over this. He wrote his poetry to be read aloud. This is one of his earliest poems. Very nice reading.

  • Bandaids4ever:

    This poem has such a creepy ominous feeling about it. I’ve always found it kinda chilling. I dunno though. I’m just looking in to William Allingham for the first time. His work is interesting.

  • JustAudio2008:

    Thanks-the quickest feebback ever.
    The power of the ‘little folk’

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