[From Mylechairane,1859]

Maccul seal



"A moaning voice and a legend wild
Of the wizard days of yore."


ONCE upon a day, an Elfin Knight fell in love with one of the daughters of Mann as she sat in her bowery home beneath the blue tree of Glen Aldyn. Offering to abandon the Fairies for a domestic life with this sweet nymph, and absenting himself from Fairy-court during the celebration of the " Re-hollys vooar un ouyr," or Royal high harvest festival (kept by the Fairies with dancing in the merry Glen Rushen), he so offended the Little People that the Elfin King expelled him from Fairy-hall, and cursed him with an undying existence on the Manx Mountains in the form of a Satyr,thus metamorphosed he became a strange, sad, solitary Wanderer, known as the Phynnodderee.

We compassionate the Phynnodderee's misfortune, as it fell upon him in consequence of his true love for a Manx maiden. He was, moreover, a helpful friend to the thrifty.

His was the wizard hand that toil'd
At midnight's witching hour;
That gather'd the sheep from the coming storm
Ere the shepherd saw it lower;
Yet asked no fee save a scatter'd sheaf
From the peasant's garner'd hoard,
Or cream-bowl kissed by a virgin lip
To be left on the household board."


But the lazy husbandman who was neglectful about storing his winnowed corn, would awake some morning and find, to his sorrow, that the Phynnodderee had been busily at work during the night - for, behold the chaff carefully stowed in his barn, and his grain carried away!

The amiable and beneficent character of this gentle being interested the home affections of the people, and exercised a softening influence over their daily life. On retiring for the night, the mistress of the house saw that a bowl of provisions was left on the table for the good Phynnodderee, who, when the family were asleep, noiselessly entered the kitchen of the thrifty housewife and ate the solitary meal prepared for him; after which he would perform many little acts of kindness, such as mending broken furniture, chopping wood for the fire, and piling it neatly within the open, spacious ingle.

In those primitive times people were so honest that locks and bolts were quite unnecessary, and the everwelcome Phynnodderee might enter at will any homestead he pleased to honour.

But men degenerated; and a gentleman, wishing to show his gratitude for some essential service rendered by this lone wanderer, had the want of tact and delicacy to cause a few articles of clothing to be laid on the ground for him in his favourite haunt. On perceivinc., the effeminate things, the chivalrous feelings of the unhappy Phynnodderee were deeply wounded,for, notwithstanding his misfortunes and metamorphosis, he was still the gentleman,-in so much, that an ogering of garments from a person he had condescended to patronize and oblige was an unpardonable offence. He examined the things one by one, and thus scornfully expressed his sentiments in Manx:-

Bayrn da'n chione, dy doogh ddn chione;

Cooat dan dreeym, dy doogh dan dreeym; &c., &c.

A~h my she lhiat ooilley, shob cha nee lhiat Glion reagh Rushen."


"Cap for the head-bad for the head;

Coat for the back-bad for the back; &c., &c.

That's it; and if these be thine, thou caust not keep thy merry Glen Rushen."

So saying, he pitched Cap, Coat, and Carranes over the mountains into the sea, and disappeared with a melancholy wail. From that hour to this he was never known to cross the threshold of mortal man.

Of all our Myths we most love the Phynnodderee, and those best acquainted with him greatly lament that he has abandoned their abodes for ever; but,

" You may hear his voice on the desert hill,
When the mountain winds have power
'Tis a wild lament for his buried love,
And his long-lost fairy bower."


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001