A great great house it is,
A golden candlestick it is,
Guess it rightly,
Let it not go by thee.
There’s a garden that I ken,
Full of little gentlemen,
Little caps of blue they wear,
And green ribbons very fair.
I went up the boreen, I went down the boreen,
I brought the boreen with myself on my back.
He comes to ye amidst the brine
The butterfly of the sun,
The man of the coat so blue and fine,
With red thread his shirt is done.
I threw it up as white as snow,
Like gold on a flag it fell below.
I ran and I got,
I sat and I searched,
If could get it I would not bring it with me,
And as I got it not I brought it.
Thorn in the foot.
You see it come in on the shoulders of men,
Like a thread of the silk it will leave us again.
He comes through the lis1 to me over the sward,
The man of the foot that is narrow and hard,
I would he were running the opposite way,
For o’er all that are living ’tis he who bears sway.
In the garden’s a castle with hundreds within,
Yet though stripped to my shirt I would never
From house to house he goes,
A messenger small and slight,
And whether it rains or snows,
He sleeps outside in the night.
Two feet on the ground,
And three feet overhead,
And the head of the living
In the mouth of the dead.
Girl with (three-legged) pot on her head.
On the top of the tree
See the little man red,
A stone in his belly,
A cap on his head.
There’s a poor man at rest,
With a stick beneath his breast,
And he breaking his heart a-crying.
Lintel on a wet day.
As white as flour and it is not flour,
As green as grass and it is not grass,
As red as blood and it is not blood,
As black as ink and it is not ink.
Blackberry, from bud to fruit.
A bottomless barrel,
It’s shaped like a hive,
It is filled full of flesh,
And the flesh is alive.
1 Rath or fort or circular moat