Origin and History of the Leprechaun
The Leprechaun or "Artisan of the Brogue" is known in many stories as the Fairy Shoemaker with a hidden pot of gold! Irish children are told the story of the leprechaun and his hidden pot of gold to be found at the end of a rainbow. An old poem by Nora Chesson the famous English poet of Irish descent says "If you can catch the Leprechaun and keep him in your hold, He'll show you where lies buried a crock of fairy gold". Read the full text of the Leprechaun Poem as well as a beautiful story about a Leprechaun, we have even included some funny leprechaun jokes!
Leprechaun Irish Symbol - Poem
The following poem entitled 'The Leprechaun' is by the famous English poet Nora Chesson (2 January 1871 – 14 April 1906). Nora Chesson nee Hopper was of Irish descent and was involved with the Irish Literary revival of the 1890's. She was highly praised for her poems and stories about Ireland in a book published in 1918 called 'Modern English Writers: Being a study of Imaginative literature 1890-1914'. She appeared in the section about 'Irish Poetesses' and was referred to as both Hopper (her maiden name) and Chesson (her married name).
The Leprechaun by Nora Chesson
O have you seen the Leprechaun at darking of the moon?
have you seen the Leprechaun a-clouting fairy soon?
Beneath the sacred thorn-tree he sits and labours long,
And not a bird in Ireland can better him in song.
His eyes are changeful-coloured as any opal stone,
His mouth is sly and wistful with wisdom all his own;
His ears can hear the grass grow a hundred miles away,
He's younger than to-morrow, more old than yesterday.
If you can catch the Leprechaun and keep him in your hold,
He'll show you where lies buried a crock of fairy gold;
But you must never lose your grasp whatever wile he tries,
Though you see your cabin flaming before your very eyes.
But if you let him escape you, some wisdom you'll have won
By holding wisdom in your hand beneath the moon or sun ;
Though t'were only for a moment, and suddenly withdrawn.
Oh have you ever met him, the red-capped Leprechaun?
The Leprechaun - Published in the English Illustrated Magazine, 1903
Leprechaun Cottage - Is this the home of the Leprechaun?
Leprechaun Irish Symbol - Story
Enjoy reading the following Leprechaun story to your children, a perfect bedtime story! It is a great example of how the Leprechaun can bring good fortune but beware, they are not to be treated badly!
Leprechauns are merry, industrious, tricky little sprites, who do all the shoemaker's work and the tailor's and the cobbler's for the fairy gentry, and are often seen at sunset under the hedge singing and stitching. The Leprechaun knowns all the secrets of hidden treasure, and if they take a fancy to a person will guide him to the spot in the fairy rath where the pot of gold lies buried. It is believed that a family now living near Castlerea came by their riches in a strange way, all through the good offices of a friendly Leprechaun. And the legend has been handed down through many generations as an established fact!
There was a poor boy once, one of their forefathers, who used to drive his cart of turf daily back and forward, and make what money be could by the sale; but he was a strange boy, very silent and moody, and the people said he was a fairy changeling, for he joined in no sports and scarcely ever spoke to any one, but spent the nights reading all the old bits of books he picked up in his rambles. The one thing he longed for above all others was to get rich, and to be able to give up the old weary turf cart, and live in peace and quietness all alone, with nothing but books round him, in a beautiful house and garden all by himself.
Now he had read in the old books how the Leprechaun knew all the secret places where gold lay hid, and day by day he watched for a sight of the little cobbler, and listened for the click, click of his hammer as he sat under the hedge mending the shoes.
At last, one evening just as the sun set, he saw a little fellow under a dock leaf, working away, dressed all in green, with a cocked hat on his head. So the boy jumped down from the cart and seized him by the neck.
"Now, you don't stir from this," he cried, "till you tell me where to find the hidden gold."
"Easy now," said the Leprechaun, "don't hurt me, and I will tell you all about it. But mind you, I could hurt you if I chose, for I have the power; but I won't do it, for we are cousins once removed. So as we are near relations I'll just be good, and show you the place of the secret gold that none can have or keep except those of fairy blood and race. Come along with me, then, to the old fort of Lipenshaw, for there it lies. But make haste, for when the last red glow of the sun vanishes the gold will disappear also, and you will never find it again."
"Come off, then," said the boy, and he carried the Leprechaun into the turf cart, and drove off. And in a second they were at the old fort, and went in through a door made in the stone wall.
"Now, look around," said the Leprechaun; and the boy saw the whole ground covered with gold pieces, and there were vessels of silver lying about in such plenty that all the riches of all the world seemed gathered there.
"Now take what you want," said the Leprechaun, "but hasten, for if that door shuts you will never leave this place as long as you live."
So the boy gathered up his arms full of gold and silver, and flung them into the cart; and was on his way back for more when the door shut with a clap like thunder, and all the place became dark as night. And he saw no more of the Leprechaun, and had not time even to thank him.
So he thought it best to drive home at once with his treasure, and when he arrived and was all alone by himself he counted his riches, and all the bright yellow gold pieces, enough for a king's ransom.
And he was very wise and told no one; but went off next day to Dublin and put all his treasures into the bank, and found that he was now indeed as rich as a lord.
So he ordered a fine house to be built with spacious gardens, and he had servants and carriages and books to his heart's content. And he gathered all the wise men round him to give him the learning of a gentleman; and he became a great and powerful man in the country, where his memory is still held in high honour, and his descendants are living to this day rich and prosperous; for their wealth has never decreased though they have ever given largely to the poor, and are noted above all things for the friendly heart and the liberal hand.
But the Leprechauns can be bitterly malicious if they are offended, and one should he very cautious in dealing with them, and always treat them with great civility, or they will take revenge and never reveal the secret of the hidden gold.
One day a young lad was out in the fields at work when he saw a little fellow, not the height of his hand, mending shoes under a dock leaf. And he went over, never taking his eyes off him for fear he would vanish away; and when he got quite close he made a grab at the creature, and lifted him up and put him in his pocket.
Then he ran away home as fast as he could, and when he had the Leprechaun safe in the house, he tied him by an iron chain to the hob.
"Now, tell me," he said, "where am I to find a pot of gold? Let me know the place or I'll punish you."
"I know of no pot of gold," said the Leprechaun; "but let me go that I may finish mending the shoes."
"Then I'll make you tell me," said the lad.
And with that he made down a great fire, and put the little fellow on it and scorched him.
"Oh, take me off, take me off!" cried the Leprechaun, "and I'll tell you. Just there, under the dock leaf, where you found me, there is a pot of gold. Go; dig and find."
So the lad was delighted, and ran to the door; but it so happened that his mother was just then coming in with the pail of fresh milk, and in his haste he knocked the pail out of her hand, and all the milk was spilled on the floor.
Then, when the mother saw the Leprechaun, she grew very angry and beat him. "Go away, you little wretch!" she cried. "You have overlooked the milk and brought ill-luck." And she kicked him out of the house.
But the lad ran off to find the dock leaf, though he came back very sorrowful in the evening, for he had dug and dug nearly down to the middle of the earth; but no pot of gold was to be seen.
That same night the husband was coming home from his work, and as he passed the old fort he heard voices and laughter, and one said--
"They are looking for a pot of gold; but they little know that a crock of gold is lying down in the bottom of the old quarry, hid under the stones close by the garden wall. But whoever gets it must go of a dark night at twelve o'clock, and beware of bringing his wife with him."
So the man hurried home and told his wife he would go that very night, for it was black dark, and she must stay at home and watch for him, and not stir from the house till he came back. Then he went out into the dark night alone.
Now," thought the wife, when he was gone, "if I could only get to the quarry before him I would have the pot of gold all to myself; while if he gets it I shall have nothing."
And with that. she went out and ran like the wind until she reached the quarry, and than she began to creep down very quietly in the black dark. But a great stone was in her path, and she stumbled over it, and fell down and down till she reached the bottom, and there she lay groaning, for her leg was broken by the fall.
Just then her husband came to the edge of the quarry and, began to descend. But when he heard the groans he was frightened.
"Cross of Christ about us!" he exclaimed; "what is that down below? Is it evil, or is it good?"
"Oh, comedown, come down and help me!" cried the woman. It's your wife is here, and my leg is broken, and I'll die if you don t help me."
"And is this my pot of gold?" exclaimed the poor man. "Only my wife with a broken leg lying at the bottom of the quarry."
And he was at his wits' end to know what to do, for the night was so dark he could not see a hand before him. So he roused up a neighbour, and between them they dragged up the poor woman and carried her home, and laid her on the bed half dead from fright, and it was many a day before she was able to get about as usual; indeed she limped all her life long, so that the people said the curse of the Leprechaun was on her.
But as to the pot of gold, from that day to this not one of the family, father or son, or any belonging to them, ever set eyes on it. however, the little Leprechaun still sits under the dock leaf of the hedge and laughs at them as he mends the shoes with his little hammer--tick tack, tick tack--but they are afraid to touch him, for now they know he can take his revenge.
The Leprechaun Story
Leprechaun - Picture of a Rainbow
Irish Rainbow Picture - Where is the Leprechaun's Pot of Gold?
Leprechaun Irish Symbol - Jokes
Apologies in advance, these leprechaun jokes are terrible!
What is small, green and travels at three hundred miles per hour?
A leprechaun in a blender!
What would a leprechaun in the state of Texas have?
A pot of chilli at the end of his rainbow!
How would you know a frog Leprechaun?
He would have a croak of gold!
What kind of Leprechaun would be in prison?
Can you borrow money from a leprechaun?
No - He is always a little short!
What is small, green and and stuck to your fender?
A leprechaun who didn't see you coming!
Leprechaun - Picture of a Rainbow
Facts about the Leprechaun Irish Symbol
Leprechaun means "Artisan of the Brogue" or Shoe Maker
The tale of the Leprechaun is popular worldwide and the leprechaun is a popular Irish symbol featured on Irish gifts and keepsakes sold to tourists
It is an old Irish Tradition that at the end of a rainbow you will find a leprechauns pot of gold!
A leprechaun is not to be messed with, just read our story above!
If you find a leprechaun, be kind and he may just give you a pot of gold! Good Luck!!!
The Irish Gaelic word for Leprechaun is 'Leipreachán'
The correct spelling for this mischievous little creature is Leprechaun; however incorrect spellings for the word to describe this little Irish shoemaker include lubrican, lubricans, leprehaun, leprechauns, lepracorn, lepricorn and lepreehawn!