Lucky You!

Saint Patrick’s Day has us thinking about leprechauns, so Katie and I delved into Cotsen’s special collections vaults to see what we could find! Happily, we discovered The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies : with Assorted Pixies, Mermaids, Brownies, Witches, and Leprechauns (Golden Press, c1951). It’s a collections of stories and poems selected by Jane Werner, and illustrated by the famous Garth Williams.

Garth Williams has a signature style that’s most often associated with his illustrations for Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and the Little House series. The Giant Golden Book, however, is considerably more whimsical, teeming with mythical creatures and fanciful settings. And just look at these moody, evocative end papers:

There is still quite a bit of adorableness, of course. One story featured a walnut carriage drawn by mice:

And a tiny suit of armor composed of fish scales and a robin’s feather plume:

And this amazing “little crinolined dress made of one hundred rose petals”…

We’ll leave you with a charming leprechaun poem by Jane Werner herself:

Images from The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies : with Assorted Pixies, Mermaids, Brownies, Witches, and Leprechauns. New York : Golden Press, c1951. Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University Library

An Homage to Three Irish Poets

William Butler Yeats

william butler yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Katharine Tynan

katherine tynanA splendid place is London, with golden store,
For them that have the heart and hope and youth galore;
But mournful are its streets to me, I tell you true,
For I’m longing sore for Ireland in the foggy dew.

The sun he shines all day here, so fierce and fine,
With never a wisp of mist at all to dim his shine;
The sun he shines all day here from skies of blue:
He hides his face in Ireland in the foggy dew.

The maids go out to milking in the pastures gray,
The sky is green and golden at dawn of the day;
And in the deep-drenched meadows the hay lies new,
And the corn is turning yellow in the foggy dew.

Mavrone! If I might feel now the dew on my face,
And the wind from the mountains in that remembered place,
I’d give the wealth of London, if mine it were to do,
And I’d travel home to Ireland and the foggy dew.

Jonathan Swift

jonathan swiftWe are little airy creatures,
All of different voice and features;
One of us in glass is set,
One of us you’ll find in jet.
T’other you may see in tin,
And the fourth a box within.
If the fifth you should pursue,
It can never fly from you.

Poetic portraits lovingly rendered by master crafter, Katie Zondlo.