When The Little Yellow Cottage Visited Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall is a special feature of the Leitrim landscape. At only 50 ft high, what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in atmosphere and energy.Full View of Glencar Waterfall

This surely is a place where fairies live!

So, in the spirit of capturing some of this magic, I thought it would be fun to take one of our thatched cottage ornaments up there for a quirky photo shoot. I just had a feeling that the cottage would suit a the backdrop of Glencar Waterfall

The little thatched cottage ornament in front of Glencar Waterfall.

And after all, there’s nothing quite like casually walking around, mingling with the day trippers, a cottage under one arm and a camera in the other. I think the result was worth it though, since the cottages tend to suit quirky environments.

The little thatched cottage ornament in front of the bridge at Glencar Waterfall

The little yellow cottage looks so right at this bridge and babbling brook, which is just at the entrance to the waterfall.

Incidentally, we tried this before over Bealtaine Weekend on 1st May.  On that occasion we took the opportunity to go out to Castle Caldwell Forest at 7am to photograph a red cottage on the bluebell carpet.irish thatched cottage ornament in woodland with a haze of bluebells behind

Seriously cute!

Little red thatched cottage next to a bluebell at Castle Caldwell Forest

And some editing to max out the cutness factor. I just love how the bluebell looks the size of a tree beside the cottage.

But back to Glencar Waterfall, which stars in  W.B. Yeats’s  folkloric poem “The Stolen Child”

“Where the wandering water gushes

From the hills above Glen-Car,

In pools among the rushes

That scarce could bathe a star”

 This poem is about the very real, but thankfully, bygone belief that the fairies would steal children (and occasionally adults) and spirit them away to their fairy world. This superstition is where the saying “away with the fairies” comes from, as the ‘changeling child’ left in the human child’s place would be very different indeed. Still, it is a beautiful poem, full of magic, mystery and melancholy.

“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”.

Yeats depicts the cunning ways of the fairies to entice a young child to come away with them. They invite the child to escape the sorrowful world of humans and exchange it for the thrill of that other-world of fairies and freedom and feasting.

The little thatched cottage on the bank beside the river flowing into Glencar Lake

This is just the result of me messing around with the Picmonkey editing tools. I can just see a tiny elf going in the door of that cottage, perhaps with a little fishing rod and miniature catch.

And I’ll leave you now with a spell binding recording of The Stolen Child by The Waterboys.

 and the full poem which is in the public domain

The Stolen Child

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 scarce 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.

WB Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Fun fact: The Sleuth Woods referred to in the poem is actually Slish Woods in Sligo. The Rosses is in fact Rosses Point also in Sligo.

Visiting Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall is situated in County Leitrim approximately 13 km from Sligo Town (37 km from Belleek Village). Get directions here 

There is ample parking and a tearoom and gift shop

There is wheelchair access to view the waterfall (the full circular walk includes steps however)

Also 2 km away is Ireland’s highest waterfall, The Devil’s Chimney, which includes a more strenuous hill walk open to the public.

Further information is available from Leitrim Tourism

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