Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dwelling places for faerie

Ben Bulben or Binn Ghulbain in Irish is set in Yeats country in Sligo.  It is a mountain formed in the Ice Age and the setting of many Irish legends.  It is for example said to be the dwelling of the Fianna, a band of warriors who lived in the 3rd century.  Another example is a story called the wild boar hunt, where the warrior Diarmuid Ua Duibhne is tricked by the giant Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhail) into fighting an enchanted boar which kills the warrior by piercing his heart with a tusk.  Benbulben is said to be the resting place of Diarmuid and Grainne his love, who was daughter of the high king Cormac Mac Airt.  In another story, in the 6th century, St Columna led 3,000 soldiers up Ben Bulben to fight for the right for the saint to copy from a psalter he borrowed from St.Finnian. Ireland is such a place of faery and myth, I love it.

 You can understand why ben bulben and the country around inspired Yeats in his poetry

All of the wild foxgloves I've seen growing everywhere throughout Ireland put me in mind of a song I used to sing at school.  I cannot remember the author but I still remember all the words and the melody...

The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat
Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
All the time that they have stood
None has heard their melodies.
Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them
Ev'ry crimson bell, down-slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted.
The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone.

 Seeing me getting out of my car to peer at the castle in the distance, a lovely man let me into his house and through into his back garden so I could stare out at the view.  

Endless fields of leek!

Goodbye Ireland.  I'll miss you.


  1. What a lovely song/poem. I adore foxgloves, they're beautiful. I'll probably think of this song when mine flower again :)

  2. I have really enjoyed our time in Ireland. I wonder where you are taking us next?

  3. what a holiday, thanks for sharing. the next best thing (and much cheaper) than going myself.

  4. Oh such memories of our tour of Ireland. I loved County Sligo, Yeats Country. We visited Glen Carr, where Yeats was inspired to write his poem "The Stolen Child." We spent a lot time in Yeat's Country, following him around. It seems to me that once you have been to Ireland, you just cannot get it out of your heart. You have a lovely time and I have enjoyed your narrative. (I bet the chooks miss you). Next stop?

  5. I love all photos of your holiday, and the story's of your trip, feels like we are along for the ride.

  6. I am back. I googled your song/poem to find the author. Check out this link:

  7. Looks like you've had an amazing holiday! Very Pretty Place. Thanks for the adventures :)

  8. Hi, I am so glad you enjoyed your visit and took so many photos to share.
    We have so many myths and legends!!
    I did a post some time ago on the the legend of Diarmuid and Grainne, I had visited Nth Tipperary where there is an ancient site called leaba Grainne & Diarmuid (the bed of G. & D.)
    Are you on the way home or is there more travel pics to look forward to?!

  9. Some amazing places you've been to this summer! A trip of a lifetime. Hope your return journey goes well. Kelli

  10. Such gorgeous foxgloves and what an amazing vista! Thanks for sharing it all with us Mrs B!

  11. This countryside is beautiful! My dream is to go to Ireland someday.
    And those foxgloves are so pretty. They are one of my favorite flowers!


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment!!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...