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Elves and Heroes

Elves and Heroes by Donald Alexander Mackenzie
By: (1873-1936)

This volume describes, in verse, the mythical creatures and people of ancient Scotland. It also includes explanatory notes about about the characters and folk tales that inspired the author's poetry. (Introduction by Matthew Reece)

First Page:

ELVES AND HEROES

BY

DONALD A. MACKENZIE.

1909

TO

Miss YULE, of TARRADALE.

PREFACE.

THE ELVES.

The immemorial folk beliefs of our native land are passing away, but they still retain for us a poetic appeal, not only on account of the glamour of early associations, but also because they afford us inviting glimpses of the mental habits and inherent characteristics of the men and women of past generations. When we re tell the old tales of our ancestors, we sit beside them over the peat fire; and, as we glory with them in their strong heroes, and share their elemental joys and fears, we breathe the palpitating air of that old mysterious world of theirs, peopled by spirits beautiful, and strange, and awe inspiring.

The attitude of the Gael towards the supernatural, and his general outlook upon life in times gone by, was not associated with unbroken gloom; nor was he always an ineffectual dreamer and melancholy fatalist. These attributes belong chiefly to the Literary Celt of latter day conception the Celt of Arnold and Renan, and other writers following in their wake, who have woven misty impressions of a people whom they have met as strangers, and never really understood... Continue reading book >>


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