by William Allingham (1824 - 1889)

Up the aery mountain
Language: English 
Up the aery mountain, 
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go ahunting
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 hilltop the old king sits;
He is now so old and grey
He's nigh lost his wits
With a bridge of white mist...

Columkille he crosses
On his stately journies 
From Slieve
League 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,
And 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 from sorrow.

They have kept her ever since
Deep within a lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
Watching till she wake...

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorntrees,
For 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.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 224