To the Irish peasant earth and air were filled with these mysterious beings, half-loved, half-feared by them; and therefore they were propitiated by flattery, and called "the good people," as the Greeks call the dread goddesses "the Eumenides."
Their voices were heard in the mountain echo, amid their forms seen in the purple and golden mountain mist; they whispered amidst the perfumed hawthorn branches; the rush of the autumn leaves was the scamper of little elves--red, yellow, and brown--wind-driven, and dancing in their glee; and the bending of the waving barley was caused by the flight of the Elf King and his Court across the fields.
They danced with soundless feet, and their step was so light that the drops of dew they danced on only trembled, but did not break. The fairy music was low and sweet," blinding sweet," like that of the great god Pan by the river; they lived only on time nectar in the cups of time flowers, though in their fairy palaces sumptuous banquets were offered to the mortals they carried off--but woe to the mortal who tasted of fairy food; to eat was fatal. All the evil in the world has come by eating.; if Eve had only resisted that apple our race might still be in Paradise.