Funeral Among the Little People

The term of Fairy life appears…
Restricted to a thousand years ; `
And hence, ’tis said, the envious spite,
With which some fairy elves delight '
To vex those days with care and strife,
Which prelude man’s immortal life.
Though Fancy’s eye at eve has seen
Bright fairies dancing on the green ;
And oft returning traced at morn
The rings by frequent footsteps worn ;
Though Fancy's eye has Puck espied
While many a trick malign he tried;
Or kinder sprites has seen at night,
Aid human toils with elfish might
Their bounty oft in gifts has known,
Or proved-their wants by trivial loan;
Their utmost weakness still was hid,
A sight to prying gaze forbid,
Till one strange night, revealed at last
To rustic Wight, with awe aghast.
Amid the drifted sands of Hayle,
The home of many a fairy tale,
From far St. Ives old Richard came,
With pilchards laden for his dame.
Retarded by the burden’s weight,
He crossed the mystic Towyn late.
From cloudless skies a moon serene,
With silvery light illumined the scene ;
A deadened hell, with toll suppressed,
Alone disturbed the landscape’s rest ;
As up the hill his course he wound,
With wondering ears he caught the sound,
And when towards Lelant church he drew,
Bright lights within it gleamed to view.
Then nameless fears his heart assailed,
Yet hope inquisitive prevailed;
With cautious steps, with movement still,
He ventured towards a window sill,
Pecped in, and dazzled by the light,
Saw only, all within was bright.
At length, along the centre aisle,
With progress slow, in double file
He saw a long procession move
Through crowds impressed with sorrowing love.
Their tiny torches, slips of pine,
On all the fair, assembly shine,
And flowers of phosphorescent light
Cast radiance from the altar’s height.
No coffin, sable robes, or pal],
Obscured this fairy funeral.
They wreaths of ting roses wore,
And sprays of blossomed myrtle bore ;.
Six to the bier their shoulders pressed,
Whereon, attired in flowing vest,
A fairy lady, so minute
No human type her form might suit,
So fair, so exquisite, her face,
Our language fails to speak its grace ;
So lovely, in that sad display,
Like “ a dead seraph ” there she lay.
White flowers the little corpse o'erspread,
White blossoms wreathed the beauteous head,
And twined among the hair's gold thread.
The bier approached the altar rail,
They rested it within the pale,
While close beneath that altar’s shade,
With many a pickaxe small, and spade,
A host of little sextons gave
Their toil to shape a little grave.
With all the reverence of love,
Then tenderest hands the corpse remove,
And fondest looks all thronging pressed
To see her, ere her latest rest.
The corpse was lowered, and off they tear
Their wreaths, and breaking in despair
Their flowery branches wildly spread,
And loudly wail, Our Queen is dead !
Our Queen is dead ! A sexton’s spade
Then dust on that fair body laid,—
And thrilling from the host arose
A shriek, so eloquent of woes,
That Richard, from his caution thrown,
Augments its clamour with his own.
That very instant all was rout,
And every fairy light went out.

Old Skibereen

Old Skibbereen

By Patrick Carpenter

Air: ‘The Wearing of the Green’

A Young American and his Irish Father


“O! father, dear, I’ve often heard you speak of Erin’s Isle –

Its scenes how bright and beautiful, how “rich and rare” they smile;

You say it is a lovely land in which a Prince might dwell,

Then why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?”


“My Son, I’ve loved my native land with fervour and with pride –

Her peaceful groves, her mountains rude, her valleys green and wide,

And there I’ve roamed in manhood’s prime, and sported when a boy,

My Shamrock and shillelagh sure my constant boast and Joy.


“But lo! A blight came o’er my crops, my sheep and cattle died,

The rack-rent too, alas! was due I could not have supplied;

The landlord drove me from my cot where born I had been,

And that, my boy’s the reason why I left old Skibbereen –


“O! what a dreadful sight it was that dark November day;

The Sheriff and the Peelers came to send us all away;

They set the roof a-blazing with a demon smile of spleen,

And when it fell, the crash was heard all over Skibbereen.


“Your Mother dear, God rest her, fell upon the snowy ground,

She fainted in her anguish at the desolation round; -

She never rose, but passed away from life’s tumultuous scene,

And found a quiet grave to rest in poor old Skibbereen.


“Ah! I sadly recall that year of gloomy ’48;

I rose in vengeance with “the boys” to battle against fate;

We were hunted thro’ the mountains wild, as traitors to the Queen, -

And that, my boy’s the reason why I left old Skibbereen.


“You then were only two years old, and feeble was your frame,

I would not leave you with my friends – you bore my father’s name! –

I wrapped you in my ‘Catamore’ at dead of night unseen,

Then heav’d a sigh, and bade good-by to poor old Skibbereen.


“O! Father, Father, when the day for vengeance we will call, -

When Irishmen o’er field and fen shall rally one and all, -

I’ll be the man to lead the van beneath the flag of green,

While loud on high we’ll raise the cry – Revenge for Skibbereen!”


A poem by "Barney Maglone" aka Robert Arthur Wilson (1820-75)

Of all the navygations
That ever left the shore
I tell this mortal nation
'Tis potheen I adore.
I have the tender crathur
All in her punchy dhress
And when she's mother-naked
I love her none the less.
If she had but a night-dhress
Of Shugar on her skin,
I'm not the boy that would refuse
To take the swate one in.
Well I mind the lively night
Her mother, Sall, lay in;
How did I press the babe
Between my nose and chin.
An' if she was ould as
Methoosalem's first hat,
I'd love her as the crame's loved by
That sleekit bastem, the cat.
If mighty Dutheronomy
That hayro of renown,
Likewise July-us Saizer
That won the British Crown -
If Hector an' bowld Vaynus,
With Lusy-an the ass,
Also Neb-you-codnazzur,
So mighty at the grass -
Were all with Martin Luther,
With Gladstone, and with Lowe,
I'd box them left and right afore
I'd let my charmer go.
It's thrue she has been thricky,
As Irish maids do be;
An' I must own that sometimes
She's played a prank on me.
She rowled me in the soft mud
One night she got me down,
When I was just meanderin'
About a mile from town.
She gave my eyes a paintin'
And gave my nose a swell,
Another winther's evenin'
When huggin' her too well.
But all these lovin' capers
I aisily forgive
An' if she knocks my branes out,
I'll love her while I live.
I'd face the French and Prooshans'
An' the Permissive Bill,
Afore, I'd lose my darlin'
The daughter of the still!