|Hie Over to England, Mary McGarry, |
Sean Long the Mason or Jack the Sailor discovered his kitchen bathed in the most magical aura of light a July night in 1850s Dublin. A group of tiny figures collected around his hearth before a blazing fire. Little ladies & gentlemen were merrily discussing the merits of sundry bottles of superior whisky & several jugs of punch. ‘Hot, strong, & sweet’, the exquisite aroma floated up to where Sean stood wondering in the half-open doorway. The whole company was attired in very fine, if slightly old-fashioned clothes, the ladies in golden robes, the gentlemen in wigs & cocked hats. ...One of the gentlemen rose from his seat &, taking off his cocked hat, he put on a red night-cap, dipped the middle finger of his left hand into a glittering saucer which stood on the mantlepiece & annointed his forehead; addressing the following words to his companions:
Pick up, pick up all your crumbs,
But touch nothing with your thumbs –
Hie over to England
He vanished from sight. Next a lady stood up, replaced her rich lace bonnet with a red cap & picked up some fragments of barnbrack & saffron cake on which they had been feasting. Brushing her forehead, she repeated the following:
Thus I pick up all my crumbs,
But touch nothing with my thumbs –
Hie over to England,
& disappeared likewise. He watched as the whole company departed until one couple was left. The last lady said:
We have picked up all our crumbs,
We’ve touched nothing with our thumbs;
Therefore we now may safely say,
Hie o’er to England – hie away.
Finally, the last gentleman donned his red cap & having touched his brow, said
I must now the saucer take,
Lest I should Sean Long awake;
Then in his head the whim might rise,
To seize on me, & win the prize.
Sean seized the saucer. The tiny fellow was too quick fo him & rapidly repeating the words ‘Hie over to England’, he too vanished. Dissappointment rose. ‘Maybe,’ he mused to himself, ‘the prize he was talking about was the saucer – it is a nice bit of china. I wonder what would happen if I dipped my finger too. I’ll try for I might be lucky, & besides my night-cap is red just like those of the fairies.’ He dipped his finger into the magic saucer, & brushed his forehead. He began to sing in a loud voice Hie over to England, At that he went up the chimney like a ray of lightening without a touch of bother to himself. His swift journey lulled him into a deep & pleasant slumber.
On awakening, all the occurrencese of the past night he discounted as a mere dream & began to feel about him for all the familiar objects of his home. You can imagine his surprise then to find that he was lying on a heap of saw-dust & that bottles were scattered on either side of him. His knowledge of building told him he was in a wine-cellar bin. He chided himself again for acting the amadan: fool & interfering with the fun of the good people.
Sean was seized by several servants, who hurried up at the butler‘s command, & hauled him out of the cellar. Unfortunately for him he had been apprehended in the house of a certain Lancashire nobleman, from whose cellar a considerable amount of wine had disappeared in a most unaccountable manner. He was taken before the magistrate who charged him with feloniously entering a dwelling; & sentenced to death by hanging.
In the cart going to gallows hill an old woman standing by the wayside attracted his attention by waving a red cap madly in the air above the heads of the rest of the crowd. ‘Sean Long’ she cried, ’die with your red night-cap on you, but don’t touch it with your thumbs.’ A spark of hope rose in him, but disappeared when he realized he had left his cap behind him in the gaol. Sean told the sheriff how much he would like to take his final sleep in his own red night-cap. While the hangman waited to throw the noose over his head, Sean carefully put on the cap, remembering not to touch it with his thumbs & rubbing his forehead with his middle finger exclaimed, Hie over to Ireland. Sean & the cart he was tied to rose swiftly into the air & to the astonishment of the watching crowd, disappeared from sight. Sean was deposited at his cousin Murty Farrell’s house who took a liking to the cart. On his return home, Sean found all the things in his cabin just as he had left them. Sean declared he would never forget the odd-looking Earl or the awe-inspiring judge that tried him. Above all he promised never again to interrupt the amusements of the fairies round his hearth.
Lunar rainbows, because of their rarity, mark the greatest treasures of all, those that lie waiting still to astonish the world with the glimpse of Erin [Peace] in the days of her glory. – Niall Macnamara
|(pron. KLOOR-ih-kawns) cluaran: a thistle; cf. Welsh cluro + caun: pixie. The Leprechaun Companion divides the faylinn: enchanted water ones into tribes: leprechauns: shoemakers of Leinster Province, luricauns or clauricauns: thistle ones of Munster Province, logherymen: lunar gleam of Ulster Province & Luriceen of Kildare. “After work leprechauns like to organize a wild feast, during which time they are referred to as cluricauns. These often drunk cluricauns can be seen riding in moonlight on the back of a dog or sheep.” – The Leprechaun Companion |
McAnally in Irish Wonders describes the faylinn: enchanted water ones wearing modern English-designed coats. The Northern Leprechaun or Logheryman in a military red coat & white breeches, with a broad-brimmed, high, pointed hat, on which he sometimes stands upside down. Lurigadawne of Tipperary in a red antique slashed jacket with peaks all round, jockey cap, sword used as a magic wand. The Cluricawne of Monaghan in a swallow-tailed evening coat of red with green vest, white breeches, black stockings, shiny shoes, & a long cone hat without a brim.
Cluricauns: The Thistle Ones appear in Hie Over to England with the power of levitation or substitutiary locomotion gifted by red caps and enchanted water. Hie means go in Breton. They are illustrated wearing the court styles of the French. Katherine Mary Briggs notes levitation is also performed with white caps in some stories. Blue caps are popular in France. The red dye is extracted from lichen. Cluricauns also levitate with bog rushes on moonlit frosty winter nights. To see through invisiblity a sprig of four-leaf clover, a stone with a natural hole bored through it or a lusmore: foxglove is needed. Their messages in Ogham script are visible only by moonlight to those gifted with the Sight or with the charms above. Tying a knot in a rose is a love token. Leaving milk & water, & not cutting down hawthorn a.ka. whitethorn or blackthorn alleviates much bad-luck. Taking gifts or entering both feet in a faery ring puts you under their power. Those who have boasted of leprechaun treasure have found it turned to dust. Wishing for talent, luck, or good health will not backfire.
The Leprechaun of Carrigadhroid, Mary McGarry, Donagh Caum O’Driscoll meets a leprechaun at an ash tree surrounded by hazels, blackthorn & brier in the summer evening. The Leprechaun opens the ground to reveal a long, deep, earthen vessel filled to overflowing with gold & silver: “a great many ancient & unusual ornaments studded with diamonds & gems glittered in the fading light. ...The leprechaun flung himself out of Donagh’s grasp. In an instant he was transformed from the wrinkled old man to one young & fair-formed, although still tiny in size. ..Then, breaking a branch from the alder tree, he struck Donagh a sharp blow across the face which deprived him of his sight for a few minutes.” Donagh hastened home & his widowed mother noticed he was no longer lame & humpbacked. (6, 11:2, 43, 44, 107, 142, 184)