The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby

lyrics by Seosamh MacCathmhaoil (Joseph Campbell)

Sleep O babe, for the red bee hums the silent twilight’s fall
Aoibheall from the grey rock comes, to wrap the world in thrall
leanbhan O, my child, my joy, my love my heart’s desire
The crickets sing you lullaby, beside the dying fire

Dusk is drawn and the Green Man’s thorn is wreathed in rings of fog
Siabhra sails his boat till morn, upon the Starry Bog
A leanbhan O, the paly moon hath brimmed her cusp in dew
And weeps to hear the sad sleep-tune, I sing O love to you

Faintly sweet doth the chapel bell, ring o’er the valley dim
Tearmann‘s peasant voices swell, in fragrant evening hymn
A leanbhan O, the low bell rings, my little lamb to rest
And angel-dreams till morning sings, its music in your breast

Aoibheall – (EE-val) Meaning: the name of the queen of the northern fairies
leanbhan – (LYAN-uh-van) Meaning: little child, baby
Tearmann – (CHAR-uh-muhn) Meaning: tearmann = sanctuary, refuge, or church land, name of village near Lough Gartan
Siabra – (SHEE-vra) a prankster class of trooping fairies, also spelled Shefro or Siofra