Thursday, 9 April 2009

Down the rushy glen.


There is something about a stream which brings out the child in me, particularly when the stream runs through woodland and the water is not too deep. That is true of our beck as it goes through the plantain at the moment - it is quite low and makes a pleasant, trickling sound. It is so clear that you can see the cream, orange and brown pebbles which line the bottom - and, if you know where to look, the odd little trout facing into the current and waving his tail to keep his position in the water. The marsh marigolds are out along the beck margin and here and there the lesser celandines prick the new grass with tiny golden stars. In the wood itself the daffodils are well out and the snowdrops are finished.

It is at this time of the year that I am reminded of all things "fairyland." At school we learned a poem - I can only remember a bit of it but i am sure there is a blogger out there somewhere who will fill me in:-### "Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren't go a hunting, For fear of little men, Wee folk, good folk, trooping all together, Green jacket, red cap and white owl's feather."### Oh! how I wanted those "little men" to be real. And then when I discovered BB's "Little Grey Men" and "Down the Bright Stream" and - eventually Tolkein's "The Hobbit" and got to know Bilbo Baggins - then these little streams promised real magic, if only you could see it.

Today the beck was really in magic mode as Tess and I walked along it - our first walk this week as we have had a visitor staying.

I came across a little bend in the beck with a tree root shutting it off from the main stream, and i decided that - if there were any little men - that is where they would launch their boat. It would be fashioned out of a paint tin lid, painted green to match the grassy banks, and the little men would launch it and go off on an adventure down the beck, into the river and out into the North Sea - their little tin lid boat bobbing merrily along on the waves.

I seem to be fighting off some kind of bug at the moment - feeling in that mid-way point between ill and well - having half a cold and half a headache - so blame all this musing on a slight temperature. But i shall continue to half-believe in the little men who come out at night after we have all gone to bed and have fantastic adventures in their own miniature world - and if I ever find a paint tin lid floating down the beck then I shall know it to be true!
### As I predicted - a blogging friend has supplied the poem and the poet . The poem is called "The Fairies" and is by William Allingham. I have just read it in its entirety on Google. Thanks to Rowan for supplying the information.

31 comments:

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

A bit like 'The Borrowers'-on-Sea?!

It's strange. I never tend to think of fairies, elves etc. although they obviously play a big part in our folklore. The BBC One programme link of the hedgerow is fun, don't you think?

Hope your feverishness doesn't spoil the weekend for you.

Jenn Jilks said...

Weaver, take it easy. Breathe that wonderful air.

My husband is not well. I keep telling him to stop and smell the... err, melting snow air(?). Still our lake is frozen, but there is an opening where wind blows and ducks swim. But company arrives today. All will be fun and games.

I love your favourite poems. I took English & Ch.'s literature and you inspire me too look some of them up.

I love stories about the wee folk.

Such a different point of view than here in Canada.

Janice Thomson said...

I know exactly how you feel about that stream Weaver - there's just such a stream across the street from me - I go there daily.
Hope you feel better soon.

Teresa said...

What a delightful post! I love the idea of fairies and elves in the forest and glen... their little world running along quite well and unseen by us big people above.

Hope you're soon feeling better.

Elizabeth said...

Hope you feel better soon.
Yes, quite an English tradition of the fairy/faerie.
Shakespeare too and Eleanor Faergeon (spelling!) and Walter de la Mare etc.
know the poem
not the poet
RL Stevenson?

Running water never fails to be utterly fascinating.


word verification:table
how simple and sensible.......

Rowan said...

Lovely post Weaver, I love little woodland and moorland streams too - and of course there are elves and fairies there! The poem is one of my childhood favourites, it was written by William Allingham, he was married to Helen Allingham the well known painter. And you know BB's books too. As for Bilbo Baggins - that's the name of my dog, he was named after Tolkein's Hobbit.

Sal said...

Hi there!
Hope you feel better for the weekend.
I'd love a stream at the bottom of my garden ;-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love woodland streams too and walk along side them as many weekends as possible.

Arija said...

If you wrap up well and it quierly by the beck when the light is slanting in the late afternoon, unfocus your eyes and listen, you can hear the little people going about their busuness, shaking the rain out of a bent daffodil, straightening out the grass from a footste, and their gentle timkling loughter accompanying the babble of the brook.
Both my g-daughters speak and write Elvish and I have been known to plant Harebells next to the group of Amonitas with the faerie slide.
You may even glimpse them out of the corner of your eye....
Breathe in the spring and soak up the birdsong and sllow your cold to melt away like the snows of winter.

acornmoon said...

Get well soon, I share your love of streams, crystal clear ones, gushing over pebbles and stones. I would love one to run through my garden, it would be a dream come true.

Pat Posner said...

Lovely post, Weaver.
Streams are beautiful and soothe the soul.

Get well quickly.
xxP, T&T

Mistlethrush said...

We have a stream running round the bottom of our garden - I know what you mean about it bringing out the child in you.
Hope you're soon feeling better.

willow said...

"Down the rushy glen" sounds like the perfect opening line to a poem! Loved hearing of the pretty stream and the notion of fairies.

Be well! Hope the bug passes you by!

Leenie said...

How I envy a free flowing stream on the property! Everything here is rivers and canals all organized to feed the dry fields. Your post reminds me of times when I would build little boats and landscapes for tiny dolls to live along the edges of the water near our farm. Hope you get well!

Heather said...

I remember bits of that poem too, and loved it as a child. My dream house would have had a stream at the bottom of the garden, but I am quite happy with one the other side of the footpath just over our garden wall. To be boringly practical, the insurance company is happy about that too!! Hope you are feeling better and that the bug hasn't got you.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Weaver! I love to walk in fairyland myself!
I hope that your bug will soon be gone and that you have a wonderful Easter! Thanks for your visit.

patteran said...

This is the ideal part of the ideal season to represent 'Middle England' (cultural, not geographical) at its quintessential best, isn't it? But no claiming of the hobbits' Shire for your part of the world, Pat, lovely though it is. The Shire is strictly Home County!

Dick

patteran said...

...and get well soon.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Derrick - more The Borrowers on Beck, I think., I have never seen one although that does not mean they are not there! Am feeling a bit better today thank you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I expect you have the wee folk in Canada too Jenn - they just have more space to roam.
Hope your husband is on the mend.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Janice - thank you for the comment - I am feeling a little better today.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Teresa - I think we "big people" miss a lot that is going on!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Elizabeth - you will see that Rowan has provided poet and poem for us.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Rowan - I knew somebody would know the poem.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sal - because our beck rises and falls pretty regularly, I am glad it is one field away.

Mary Sharpe said...

Hope you are feeling better by now.

That was one of my favourite poems when I was little.

'Crispy pancakes of yellow tide foam' especially stuck in my mind - as well as the bit you quoted - there's unforgettable atmosphere and rhythm there.

It's hard not to paddle when one sees a stream.

Mary Sharpe
HUGH AND CAMELLIA

The Weaver of Grass said...

Arija - if I follow your instructions I am sure they will put me in a good frame of mind.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments - No Dick, I shall not try to claim the shires for up here - there is more mystery to be had from them when they are far away. All of you who would like a stream in your garden, take heed of Heather's warning - Insurance companies don't like them!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Small streams are likewise for me enchanting—and the smaller the better if it's fantasy I seek. Your beck seems the perfect size for wee folk.

Insurance companies do look askance at homes situated near rivers. here in the U.S. they simply refuse to carry a policy, so we turn to "Flood Insurance" which is issued by the federal government, and really quite reasonable.

BT said...

Oh I know there are fairies and gnomes and goblins! And I have just blogged about our little stream but it doesn't have any fish, it dries up when the rain stops for a few days. I wish we had a real one. I loved your description and I well remember the poem of which you speak. Wonderful. It took me back to school.

Robyn said...

My sentiments exactly....the sounds of a trickling stream is very special and brings back so many wonderful memories of tadpoling for hours on end during childhood.