The Call of the Nighter

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If you hold your breath amongst the leaves
And trees a’hushing by
A quiet whiff of lover’s smoke
Somewhat misty-eyed.
A wild wind rushing in your sleep
And you, a little girl upon the moor
Enchanted by the twisted chimes
Pulling at your feet.
Step then upon the trail
Follow the allure, a lass
A’ wreathed by burning sprigs
And a handsome troubadour.
But the gloom still deepens as we speak
And the lilies hastily swim ashore
And the innocence of Summer
Must hearken to the fall.
Stop then your tread, little girl, and
Observe, you’re drowning in his pond
For straying maids must always heed
To the Nighter’s loving call.

* Note: The Nighter, or the Nykk/Nøkk as he is called in Norway, is a dark faerie creature from Norwegian folklore. He is said to live in woodsy ponds and lakes and his aim is to find a bride as he is very lonely. He takes on the form of a handsome young man and sings and plays music to lure young unmarried girls into his domain, of course, to the Nighter’s great frustration, the girl drowns as soon as she has entered the water. The Nighter is the Irish “translation” of the word Nykk, the English one is Nix.

The Weaver and the Underlings

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She weaves the flying tones of Linden-trees
Strong and true, through spindle-woods.
Earthlings, doomed to roam the undergrounds,
Grasp, by light of hollow-stars, at the spring of
The Faerie-sound.
Up and up and up they flee, by twigs of leaves
On dancing feet, up through birch and evergreen
Where hill-top grass lay glistening,
And the shadowed moon has laid her fate,
For them to dance through Elven-gates.

Pan’s Flute

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Enchantments coiled around my wrists
And over the field I hastened,
Through thistle-spun trees and lily-woods
But, alas, my feet began a’dancin’.
Through umbrella-leaves and parsley-blooms
I twirled in fields of goldenrod,
To pipes unseen and larks unheard.
And Pan himself must have laughed,
For he had caught me in his Faerie-trance.

The Faerie Years

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Art by Cicely Mary Barker

A Lilac Garden bright with snow

where Evergreens and Lilies grow

All pink and white with blossoms sweet

A trysting-place where fairies meet

In Springtime days and summer noons

A lovely scent of rich perfumes

And beds of cloves like little gems

Dancing sweet with Pixie friends

The Light a ‘shines through cherry trees

Singing leaves like symphonies

Humming birds in every nook

Mermaids bathe in laughing brooks

So blue and still the summer skies

Dotted cream with butterflies

And wayside flower’s rainbow gowns

Bejeweling summer’s youthful crown

Sheen of lace in spider’s web

Amber pales and summer sets

Tanning quick what used to be fair

Pouring thick like river’s hair

Days of June are growing old

August fades and Autumn’s bold

Audacious wind robs the warmth

And kisses the garden with lips of cold

Dawn’s Light springs on darkness’ fear

By secrets kept it solemnly swears

To ferry hope to safer ports

Where rests are long and nights are short

Under a’ many different skies

With childhood a’ light in my eyes

The spirit of that dear old place

Still holds such beauty

And gives such grace