Wednesday, June 11, 2008


No matter what a realist I consider myself, it’s hard not to let the mind wander to fae things when I see a lovely stand of foxglove.

Foxgloves are deeply steeped in folk lore. Some say the origin of the name is folks gloves (folks referring to faeries or magical creatures). Nordic legend has the faeries teaching the fox to ring the fox bells as a warning when hunters approach.

To cut or damage them is to bring bad luck, but to plant them around the door yard will keep the faeries from stealing your children.






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 scare 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 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,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

...Yeats


10 comments:

jude said...

hi marnie, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! i happy to have found yours as well.
xx jude

Roses and Lilacs said...

Jude, thanks for stopping by.

An Enchanted Cottage said...

Ahhh, sweet post... I just bought foxgloves to plant in my backyard. Love the Nordic legend... Your Voodoo reminds me of my boy, Mr. B. Have a wonderful summer! I'll be stopping back I'm sure :)...Donna

Roses and Lilacs said...

Thanks, Donna, I love them too. In my area they aren't easy to grow (don't know why.) I keep trying because they are worth the extra effort. See you soon.

Mary said...

Oh, I love foxgloves, too. I don't seem to be able to keep the big pink or white ones, either, but I have loads of the smaller yellow ones. They are true perennials, and self-seed prolifically.
xoxo,
Mary
btw, I ADORE Yeats!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Mary, I've never tried the yellow ones but I will. I have a perfect spot for yellow foxglove beside my orange English rose Pat Austin. Thanks for the tip.

I love Yeats too.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie! Was great to see you stopping by at my place today to enjoy the great "unveiling" of our arum, lol. I'm always thrilled to see new gardeners visiting. I'll be back ... you have a lovely blog with great subject matter!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Thank you Iowa Victory Gardener.

Hoping the worst flooding is behind you and that the waters are receding.
Marnie

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie, looks like the worst of the Des Moines flooding is over (but not dealt with yet) and aside from the basement flooding, we've been fine, unlike the poor folks in the NE part of the city who are still under water.

I neglected to say earlier how much we struggle to get foxglove to grow... yours are magnificently lovely! What's the secret?

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Iowa, the flooding was terrifying. My Dad is on the Rock River which has reached a new record flood stage. So far he's OK but the people in lower areas are not.

I just love the foxgloves but they are so hard to grow here. As long as I can buy them locally, I will replace every year if I have to.