Sunday Poetry For My Wildling Kin

by Beth on June 9, 2013

A Fairy Flew Off with a Changeling by Arthur RackhamThe Stolen Child

by William Butler Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The bright, but solemn eyed -
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand,

Heather June 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I love this poem every time I come across it. Thank you.

Julie June 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Beth–Some years ago I heard this poem set to music on Brian O’Donovan’s Celtic program on WGBH. It was so beautiful. I wish I had more info—I will have to see what I can find out. Thank you again for the little magic interlude in my work day!

Julie June 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm

My Scorpio Sun and Mercury wouldn’t let me rest until I found out who had recorded that poem so beautifully all those years ago. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube I got to listen to it again, as recorded by Loreena McKennitt in 1985. I hope I posted the link correctly.

http://youtu.be/Em70flL8CW

Julie – that link doesn’t seem to be working, but here’s a lovely live version. Thank you SO much for your inspirational tenacity! :-)

Sarah June 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here is a beautiful version, from the album “Elemental” with accompanying images:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvpy7_loreena-mckennitt-the-stolen-child_music#.UbTQledwpyI

Beth June 10, 2013 at 10:59 am

Oh my goodness! How exquisite! I am a big fan of Loreena McKennitt, but did not know she had a musical version of this. I have chills and tears in my eyes!

Thank you for hunting this up, and sharing! What lovely treasures to find waiting for me here this morning.
In great gratitude, ~ Beth

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