Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Irish Fairy Tales   By:

Book cover

First Page:

IRISH FAIRY TALES

Edited

With an Introduction

by

W. B. YEATS

Author of 'The Wanderings of Oisin,' Etc.

Illustrated by Jack B. Yeats

[Illustration: "PLAYING AWAY ON THE PIPES AS MERRILY AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED." ( Page 48.)]

London T. Fisher Unwin 1892

WHERE MY BOOKS GO.

All the words that I gather, And all the words that I write, Must spread out their wings untiring, And never rest in their flight, Till they come where your sad, sad heart is, And sing to you in the night, Beyond where the waters are moving, Storm darkened or starry bright.

W. B. YEATS.

LONDON, January 1892 .

CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION 1

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

THE FAIRIES' DANCING PLACE 13

THE RIVAL KEMPERS 17

THE YOUNG PIPER 32

A FAIRY ENCHANTMENT 49

TEIGUE OF THE LEE 53

THE FAIRY GREYHOUND 69

THE LADY OF GOLLERUS 77

EVIL SPIRITS

THE DEVIL'S MILL 95

FERGUS O'MARA AND THE AIR DEMONS 112

THE MAN WHO NEVER KNEW FEAR 123

CATS

SEANCHAN THE BARD AND THE KING OF THE CATS 141

OWNEY AND OWNEY NA PEAK 151

KINGS AND WARRIORS

THE KNIGHTING OF CUCULAIN 185

THE LITTLE WEAVER OF DULEEK GATE 195

APPENDIX

CLASSIFICATION OF IRISH FAIRIES 223

AUTHORITIES ON IRISH FOLKLORE 234

INTRODUCTION

AN IRISH STORY TELLER

I am often doubted when I say that the Irish peasantry still believe in fairies. People think I am merely trying to bring back a little of the old dead beautiful world of romance into this century of great engines and spinning jinnies. Surely the hum of wheels and clatter of printing presses, to let alone the lecturers with their black coats and tumblers of water, have driven away the goblin kingdom and made silent the feet of the little dancers.

Old Biddy Hart at any rate does not think so. Our bran new opinions have never been heard of under her brown thatched roof tufted with yellow stone crop. It is not so long since I sat by the turf fire eating her griddle cake in her cottage on the slope of Benbulben and asking after her friends, the fairies, who inhabit the green thorn covered hill up there behind her house. How firmly she believed in them! How greatly she feared offending them! For a long time she would give me no answer but 'I always mind my own affairs and they always mind theirs.' A little talk about my great grandfather who lived all his life in the valley below, and a few words to remind her how I myself was often under her roof when but seven or eight years old loosened her tongue, however. It would be less dangerous at any rate to talk to me of the fairies than it would be to tell some 'Towrow' of them, as she contemptuously called English tourists, for I had lived under the shadow of their own hillsides. She did not forget, however, to remind me to say after we had finished, 'God bless them, Thursday' (that being the day), and so ward off their displeasure, in case they were angry at our notice, for they love to live and dance unknown of men.

Once started, she talked on freely enough, her face glowing in the firelight as she bent over the griddle or stirred the turf, and told how such a one was stolen away from near Coloney village and made to live seven years among 'the gentry,' as she calls the fairies for politeness' sake, and how when she came home she had no toes, for she had danced them off; and how such another was taken from the neighbouring village of Grange and compelled to nurse the child of the queen of the fairies a few months before I came... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books