A speck went blowing up against the sky
As little as a leaf: then it drew near
And broadened. — ‘ It’s a bird,’ said I,
And fetched my bow and arrows. It was queer!
It grew up from a speck into a blot,
And squattered past a cloud; then it flew down
All crumply, and waggled such a lot
I thought the thing would fall.–It was a brown
Old carpet, where the man was sitting snug,
Who, when he reached the ground, began to sew
A big hole in the middle of the rug,
And kept on peeping everywhere to know
Who might be coming — then he gave a twist
And flew away . . . . I fired at him but missed.
James Stephens was an Irish novelist and poet. James Stephens produced many retellings of Irish myths and fairy tales. His retellings are marked by a rare combination of humour and lyricism (Deirdre, and Irish Fairy Tales are often especially praised). He also wrote several original novels (The Crock of Gold, Etched in Moonlight, Demi-Gods) based loosely on Irish fairy tales. The Crock of Gold in particular has achieved enduring popularity and has often been reprinted.