[From Mylechairane,1859]



For Jurby plain, O Mylecharane!
You left me alone in the glen;
For better or worse, there is gold in your purse,
Gold pieces-two hundred times ten.

"O Mylecharane! was it the Boggane*1
Beguiled you away from the glen?
Came he from the shore*2 to give you the store'
That has made you the richest of men ?

O Mylecharane ! where did you obtain
The wealth that you brought to the glen?"
From the swamp of the plain, where long it had lain,
Deep, deep enough down in the fen."

O Mylecharane! how could you obtain
That gold from the bog of a fen?"
" 'Twas hid in the earth, 'twixt two sods of turf,
When I left you alone in the glen."

" Now tell me again, O Mylecharane!
Why you left me alone in the glen?"
" To follow the beat of Phynnodderee's*3 feet
Right into the pit of the fen.

Grand houses I built, my drinking-cup gilt
With the treasure I found in the glen;
Good-bye to the bogs-I've a sty for my hogs,
And my sheep-I put into a pen."

With money or pelf, where got you herself,*4
When you left me alone in the glen?"
Not long did I search, for I found her at church,
And I married her there and then."

Two pair of carrane*5 had Mylecharane
These sixteen long years past and ten,
And two pair of hose, to loop to his toes,*6
When we lived all alone in the glen.

Now out of this store, on Sunday, he wore
His fine gaiter-stockings,-and then,
In his white carrane, would Mylecharane
Leave me all alone in the glen.

When over the Bent, to Douglas he went
In oashyr-voynnee*7 loaghtyn*8 hose,
No man in the mart so ready and smart
As he in his Saturday-clothes.*9

"Father! O Father! old-fashioned rather
Your black-spotted cow-hide carrane!
And I am distressed to see you so dressed-,"
Cried the daughter of Mylecharane.*10

As long as I'm sane," said Mylecharane,
" I'll none of your fine polished leather;
The shoes to the shelf-or wear them yourself
I'll stick to carranes-yes, for ever!

So, inneen, my cree,*11 you needn't mind me!-
Mind money, as long as you live;
Think of my coffer, and laugh at the offer
Of all that your Sweethearts can give."*12

A blight and a bane on Mylecharane!
For love Manxmen marry, not gold:
Our curse on his store!-O never before
Was daughter of Manninagh*13 sold!


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*1 "The Big Boggane, or Giant Spectre of Manxland, (never seen by daylight, but) whose tall Shadow often frowns over the wilder regions of Mona, as reflected, or rather cast by the moon when the storm is gathering on the brownie hills."-Customs and Superstitions of the Isle of Man, by Col. JOHNSON.

*2 The Boggane also frequents the shore. I saw him in 1850, walking over Castletown Bay. It was Autumn; one of those clear, crystal nights peculiar to the Manx climate; overhead was a grand display of Northern-lights. I was on my way to Scarlett, when I distinctly beheld a gigantic Shape walk with slow and stately measure over the waves towards Langness Point; he carried a closed umbrella in one hand. Tall and dark as St. Mary's church-tower by starlight was the Shadow-from whence thrown, I know not.

*3 See "THE FALLEN FAIRY."-Page 19.

*4 "Herself" is an idiom. In the Manx language they say,
How is herself?" for " How is your wife?"

*5 Carrane-Sandals made of raw hide, fastened with thongs.

*6 "Loop to his toes." Oashyr slobbagh-A stocking without a sole, but with a lappet over the instep, and a loop to the fore toe, and a heel strap.

*7 The oashyr-voynnee stocking was more economical than the gaiter-stocking, for it was made without a foot,-strings tied it under the instep.

*8 Loaghtyn-From sheep so called. "The wool is used undyed for stockings, &c., and formerly one of the Earls of Derby had a whole suit of it."-FELTHAM, P. 126.

*9 The second line of this verse may be thus rendered into English
"In dun russet loaghtyn hose."

*10 The spruce young bachelor rustic would shave the long hair from his carranes-the elder were not so fastidious. We suppose the daughter, who had grown proud, wished her father to trim his carranes.

*11 My inneen, my cree-My daughter, my heart.

*12 Until Mylecharane's time, insteacl of receiving a marriage portion with his bride, the Manxman gave one to her parents.-We've "heardsay" the Fairies were so grieved at Mylecharane's conduct, on this occasion, that they began for the first time to quit the Island. Equally indignant were the Natives, and hence*the origin of the Manx proverb, "Ny poose eirey-innen ny slooid ny tan ayr eck er ny ve croghit."-We do not feel satisfied with Mylecharane's explanation of the way in which he obtained his wealth; his replies to his questioning, anxious companion seem evasive.

*13 Manninagh-A Manxman.


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