Elves in Scotland: Descent and Form

By Thomas Crofton Croker

1. Descent

The Elves are called Doane Shee: Men of peace, good people. They were originally angels, dwelling in bliss; but having yielded to the temptations of the devil, were cast out of heaven in countless numbers. They are doomed to wander amid mountains and lakes till the day of judgment, in ignorance of their sentence whether they shall be pardoned or condemned, but they fear the worst.

2. Form

No other superhuman being can vie with the fairies in beauty, and they seem still to retain traces of their original state. They are in general diminutive in stature, but of the most perfect symmetry. The female fairies in particular are said to be the most enchanting creatures in the world. Their eyes sparkle like diamonds, red and white are delicately blended in their cheeks, their lips resemble coral, and their teeth ivory, and a profusion of dark-brown hair falls in ringlets over their shoulders. Their garments are of a green hue and very simple. They are angry when mortals wear this colour, who for this reason consider it to be an unlucky one. In the Highlands it is generally a woollen stuff; in marshes they have sometimes been seen clothed in heath-brown, or in dresses dyed with the lichen.

From Fairy legends and traditions of the South of Ireland, part III., by Thomas Crofton Croker.
London: John Murray, 1828.

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Fairy-lore

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