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A Midnight Dance in the Mushroom Ring

A fantastic poem loosely inspired by Welsh, Scottish, and Irish folklore

By Ian ReadPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 2 min read
Top Story - June 2023
A Midnight Dance in the Mushroom Ring
Photo by Max Saeling on Unsplash

Ere came I ‘pon a field so green,

Neath a midnight sky with shades unseen.

In a woodland glade was this ghostly scene.


Revelry was the noise I heard,

For in the trees was nary a bird,

Nor in the field a mouse brown furred.


Through that hollow rang a stumbling beat,

Drums, harps, viols, and stomping feet,

That drew me forth, enticing sweet.


'Twas then I saw by happenstance

White-robed figures caught in a dance

Amidst the mushroom ring, a startling trance.


“Come,” one said, “hold hands with me!

Dance and sway, wild and free!

Find you nothing here but mirth and glee!”


To her I went, in the soft moonlit glade,

Though I knew not how, revel I made.

To drums I stomped; to fiddle I swayed.


It was then the night grew long.

The fair folk played unending song,

Erewhile was their laughter strong.


Around us then the circle swirled.

To wild song, the dancers whirled.

Time meant naught to all the world.


It was then a sudden sight,

The ghostly veil of dawn’s pale light,

Rose above the glen’s great height.


Then she said, “come, my love, if you intend,

We can this mortal earth ascend,

I’ll show you my land, where all sorrows end.”


It was then that the revels ceased,

The fair folk from their dance released.

Their solemn eyes looked towards the east.


“I cannot,” I said, “For I have sheep to tend,

But still, I wish to call you friend,

If you will once more your hand extend.”


She smiled then and said to me,

“You are most kind, but this is to be

The hour my kingdom calls to me.


“But if by morning you miss me still,

Come when the moon rests on the hill,

Then resume this dance we will.”


As the dawn’s light shining fell,

They left and bade a fond farewell,

And went to the green hill where they dwell.


Then home I went with some dismay

To see my parents, old and gray.

They said I was gone two nights and a day!


When I had told where I had been

My mother had a look ‘most green.

My father from his chair did lean,


“My son, you must not return,

For this is a lesson you must learn,

Their revels are not for us to yearn!”


But e'er since my heart did ache,

For the full moon so I could partake

Of the glee and mirth that they did make.


Now happiness my heart does lack,

And sharp pain does my body wrack,

Despite it all, I must go back.

performance poetry

About the Creator

Ian Read

I am an archaeologist and amateur story-teller. On my profile, you'll be in for fantasy, science fiction, and the occasional thriller. History, horror, whimsy, and adventure lie in wait. Feel free to comment and interact.

From New Hampshire

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  4. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  5. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (26)

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  • Alexander McEvoyabout a month ago

    Wow! Wow and holy cow Ian! This was a wonderful poem! I can’t believe I didn’t read it when it was top story back in June, thank you for recommending it to me! I loved the cadence and flow of your writing! It felt like it was set to a dancing song and I flowed through each verse! Also I read the whole thing aloud in my best imitation of a Scottish accent and that is definitely the best way to do it! Beautifully done good sir! Sliante! 🍻

  • Whoaaa, two nights and a day! Also, it's a land where all sorrows end. I don't blame him for not being able to resist. I enjoyed your poem so much!

  • J. S. Wade4 months ago

    Magnificent poem Ian ! Being of Welsh heritage I really have a deep appreciation for your creations. Congratulations 🥇

  • Ash Taylor4 months ago

    Ian this was incredible! It reminded me of all the faerie stories I grew up with and loved. What a beautiful poem.

  • Ashley Ball4 months ago

    This was as whimsical and magical to read as the fae you brought to life with your words! The rhythm even almost had me reading it like a song ☺️ I absolutely adored this! Thank you so much for writing and sharing with us 🩵

  • Stunning beauty.

  • Heather Hubler4 months ago

    Ooo, I loved the rhythm you established in this. Felt it carrying the story along so well, I wanted to clap along as though someone was chanting this around a fire. I was drawn in and held tight from start to finish. Really wonderful piece. Congratulations on a very deserved Top Story :)

  • MARIE ODEMS 4 months ago


  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    I love this so much! True to your inspirations, it feels very Irish in its rhythm and theme to me, and of course its subject matter; I can’t read about a dalliance with a mysterious (fae) personage and not see an Irish folk tale. (Though now I want to read more Welsh and Scottish tales!) Very well done! I was enraptured from start to finish.

  • WOA4 months ago

    This piece is excellently written. You have excellent command of syntax and diction. Great work!

  • Friendly Fox 4 months ago

    This is awesome! I am Irish and Welsh and really felt a pull reading this. Great job!

  • Dana Crandell4 months ago

    Well crafted. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Masterfully written Ian. You did such a wonderful job with the rhymes and the magical flow. I really enjoyed reading your heartfelt and insightful poem. Great job!!!

  • L.C. Schäfer4 months ago

    Whatever you do, don't eat or drink anything they give you!! 😮 I would take "was" from the 3rd line? 🤔

  • The is perfect 💯 ❤️❗

  • Obsidian Words4 months ago

    Love the unique rythm with the three lines and breaks!!

  • Cezanne Libellen4 months ago

    This is awesome Ian!! Great job!!

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    This is gorgeous and flows like a song. Very well done.

  • Andrei Z.4 months ago

    Great poem! Enjoyed the rhymes, the rhyming scheme, and the way it all flows!

  • This is brilliant, remember woodcuts of Tam o Shanter and the like in a Newcastle Museum, love mythology and Folk Tales. This WILL be a Top Story

  • Ruth Stewart4 months ago

    I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. I loved the language, the flow, and the description. I felt like I could see the dance, trees, shrubs, and forest. When a story makes me see the pictures in my head, it comes to life for me. Great work, excellent.

  • Gina C.4 months ago

    Loved so much about this! The story, the rhymes, and the language (which I'm assuming was a mix of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish). It sounded very authentic, quite impressive!

  • Cendrine Marrouat4 months ago

    Superb! Superb! Superb! I wonder if you have thought of recording yourself reading this poem. It would be fantastic.

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Fabulously well done!!!💖💖💕

  • Judey Kalchik 4 months ago

    Ah! It’s Brigadoon bound, he is!

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