A spirit fascinating, ageless dwells
Besides the glinting streams where rocks abound,
Where young and vigorous cataracts swift dash
Homing towards the sea from higher ground
In many a dancing swirl and rainbow flash
In Mannin’s leafy dells;
A spirit that, with all pervading sense
Haunts the green aisles and cloistered twilit glades,
And fills with unseen life the silent shades;
There is a spirit in the lovely glens !
And trav’llers through these woods have felt its power,
And giv’n into its presence many names,
‘Yn Tarroo-Ushtey’ and ‘Phynnoderee’;
And cottagers have dared to lay their claims
Of having seen this faery entity.
And in some magic hour
They have constrained the supernatural
To aid them in their work by day and night;
And yet I feel that not to human sight
Vouchsafed can be forms so ethereal.
As he who in a vast cathedral feels
The nearness of a Mind beyond his ken,
So that instinctively he bares his head
And knows he is upborne from earth and men
To mingle with the concourse of the dead,
So that there subtly steals
A balm not ministered by human kind,
That by some consummate mysterious art
Exalts his soul and soothes his anxious heart;
So in the glens this cleansing grace I find.
Not sprite, nor elf, nor any faery clan,
Not any denizen of unplumbed pool
Nor monster from a yawning mountain cave,
Not any imp, nor some poor half-crazed fool,
Nor any ghost from dark unhallowed grave
Give of this unction can;
But one that breathes with Nature’s living breath,
Whose face with flowers and grass and trees is fair;
Free as the stars, pervasive as the air,
Untouched by time or change, unstilled by death !