Up The Airy Mountain!

An invigoratingly fresh, early spring day here at BallyCairn on the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route. Walking around the garden earlier Dee and I were thrilled to see the spring blubs popping up all around the 'Elf Hame'. Every time we walk past this quirky little residence the words of the charming Allingham poem which we learned as children, come to mind. As one ambles through these gardens and beyond to the hills behind, it is easy to conjure the images from the poem. We thought we would share it today and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we do





Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’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 watchdogs, All night awake.

High on the hill-top The old King sits; He is now so old and grey 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 the 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 that she was fast asleep, But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since Deep within the lake, On a bed of fig-leaves, Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside, Through the mosses bare, They have planted thorn trees For my pleasure, here and there. Is any man so daring As dig them up in spite, He shall find their sharpest thorns In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’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!


William Allingham


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