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The book of fairy poetry online

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Tita. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song ;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence ;
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ;
Some, war with rear-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves coats ; and some, keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders
At our quaint spirits : Sing me now asleep ;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.


I Fai. You spotted, snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen ;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong ;
Come not near our fairy queen :

f ^CXx)


Wake, when some vile thing is near.'


CHORUS. Philomel, with melody,

Sing in our sweet lullaby ;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; Mia, lulla, lullaby :
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh ;
So, good night, with lullaby.


2 Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here ;

Hence, you long-legg 'd spinners, hence ;
Beetles black, approach not near ;
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.

CHORUS. Philomel, with melody, &c.

I Fai. Hence, away ; now all is well :
One, aloof, stand sentinel.

[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps.


Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost wake,

[Squeezes the flower on TITANIA'J eye-lids.
Do it for thy true love take ;
Love, and languish for his sake :
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear ;
Wake, when some vile thing is near. [Exit.

Enter BOTTOM and other Clowns to rehearse a play.
Enter PUCK behind.

Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen ?
What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor ;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

[Exit BOTTOM, followed by PUCK.


Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an Asis head.

Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,

Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier ;
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire ;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn. [Exit.

[BOTTOM sings.

Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery bed ? \lVaking.

[BOTTOM sings again.

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again :
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape ;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Out of this wood do not desire to go ;
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate :
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee : therefore, go with me ;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee ;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep :
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Peas-blossom ! Cobweb ! Moth ! and Mustard-seed !

Enter four Fairies.

1 Fai. Ready.

2 Fai. And I.

3 Fai. And I.

4. Fai. Where shall we go ?

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman ;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes ;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries ;
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night-tapers, crop their waxen thighs,


And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise ;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes :
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

1 Fai. Hail, mortal !

2 Fai. Hail !

3 Fai. Hail !

4 Fai. Hail !

Tita. Come wait upon him ; lead him to my bower.
The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye ;
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently. [Exeunt.

Another part of the Wood.

Obe. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd ;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

Enter PUCK.

Here conies my messenger. How now, mad spirit ?
What night-rule now about this haunted grove ?

Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake :
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nowl I fixed on his head ;
Anon, his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimick comes : When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,



Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,

Rising and cawing at the gun's report

Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky ;

So, at his sight, away his fellows fly ;

And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls ;

He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.

Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus strong,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong :

For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch ;

Some, sleeves ; some, hats : from yielders all things catch.

I led them on in this distracted fear,

And left sweet Pyramus translated there :

When in that moment (so it came to pass,)

Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass.

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste ;
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger ;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to church-yards : and the spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone ;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.

Obe. But we are spirits of another sort :
I with the Morning's Love have oft made sport :
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste ; make no delay :
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit OB.

Puck. Up and down, up and down

I will lead them up and down :
I am fear'd in field and town ;
Goblin, lead them up and down.


On the ground

Sleep sound :

I'll apply

To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown :

Jack shall have Jill ;

Nought shall go ill ;
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

[Exit PUCK.

Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM, Fairies attending ; OBERON
behind unseen.

Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,

While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
What, wilt thou hear some musick, my sweet love ?
Or, say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat.
I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away. [Exeunt Fairies.

So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Gently entwist, the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee ! how I dote on thee ! [They sleep.

OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.

Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight ?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her :
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers ;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds


Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowrets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child ;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain ;
That he awaking when the others do,
May all to Athens back again repair ;
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be, as thou wast wont to be ;

[Touching her eyes with an herb.
See, as thou wast wont to see :
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania ; wake you, my sweet queen.

Tita. My Oberon ! what visions have I seen !
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.
Obe. There lies your love.

Tita. How came these things to pass ?

O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now !

Obe. Silence, a while. Robin, take off this head.
Titania, musick call ; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.

Tita. Musick, ho ! musick, such as charmeth sleep.

Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fool's eyes

Obe. Sound, musick. [Still musick.] Come, my queen,

take hands with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark ;
I do hear the morning lark.


Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade :
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

Tita. Come, my lord ; and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found,

With these mortals, on the ground. [Exeunt.


The Eighth Nimphall

A Nymph is married to a Fay,
Great preparations for the day,
All rites of nuptials they recite you,
To the bridal and invite you.

Mertilla. But will our Tita wed this fay ?

Claia. Yea, and to-morrow is the day.

Mertilla. But why should she bestow herself
Upon this dwarfish fairy elf ?

Claia. Why, by her smallness, you may find
That she is of the Fairy kind,
And therefore apt to choose her make
Whence she did her beginning take :
Besides he's deft and wondrous airy,
And of the noblest of the Faery ;
Chief of the crickets of much fame,
In Faery a most ancient name.
But to be brief, 'tis clearly done ;
The pretty wench is wooed and won.

Claris. If this be so, let us provide
The ornaments to fit our bride ;
Queen Mab will look she should be drest
In those attires we think our best ;
Therefore some curious things let's give her
Ere to her spouse we her deliver.

Mertilla. I'll have a jewel for her ear
(Which for my sake I'll have her wear) ;


'Tshall be a dewdrop, and therein,

Of Cupids I will have a twin,

Which struggling with their wings shall break

The bubble, out of which shall leak

So sweet a liquor as shall move

Each thing that smells to be in love.

Claia. Believe me, girls, this will be fine,
And to this pendant then take mine :
A cup in fashion of a fly,
Of the lynx's piercing eye,
Wherein there sticks a sunny ray,
Shot in through the clearest day,
Whose brightness Venus' self did move
Therein to put her drink of Love,
Which for more strength she did distil ;
The limbeck was a phcenix' quill.
At this cup's delicious brink,
A fly approaching but to drink.
Like amber or some precious gum
It transparent doth become.

Claris. For jewels for her ears she's sped ;
But for a dressing for her head,
I think for her I have a tire
That all fairies shall admire.
The yellows in the full-blown rose,
Which in the top it doth enclose,
Like drops of gold ore shall be hung
Upon her tresses ; and among
Those scattered seeds (the eye to please)
The wings of the cantharides ;
With some o' th' rainbow that doth rail
Those moons in the peacock's tail :
Whose dainty colours being mixt
With the other beauties, and so fixt,
Her lovely tresses shall appear
As though upon a flame they were.
And to be sure she shall be gay,
We'll take those feathers from the jay,
About her eyes in circlets set,
To be our Tita's coronet.


Mertilla. Then, dainty girls I make no doubt
But we shall neatly send her out,
But let's among ourselves agree
Of what her wedding gown shall be.

Claia. Of pansy, pink, and primrose leaves
Most curiously laid on threaves,
And all embroidery to supply
Powdered with flowers of rosemary.
A trail about the skirt shall run,
The silt-worm's finest, newly spun,
And every seam the nymphs shall sew
With the smallest of the spinner's clue ;
And having done their work, again
These to the Church shall bear her train,
Which for our Tita we will make
Of the cast slough of a snake,
Which quivering as the wind doth blow
The Sun shall it like tinsel shew.

Claris. And being led to meet her mate,
To make sure that she want no state,
Moons from the peacocks tail we'll shred
With feathers from the pheasant's head,
Mixed with the plume of (so high price)
The precious bird of Paradise ;
Which to make up our nymphs shall ply
Into a curious canopy,
Borne o'er her head (by our enquiry)
By Elves, the fittest of the Faery.

Mertilla. But all this while we have forgot
Her buskins, neighbours, have we not ?

Claia. We had ; for those I'll fit her now :
They shall be of the lady-cow ;
The dainty shell upon her back
Of crimson strew'd with spots of black,
Which as she holds as stately pace
Her leg will wonderfully grace.

Claris. But then for music of the best ?
This must be thought on for the feast.

Mertilla. The nightingale, of birds most choice,
To do her best shall strain her voice,


And to this bird to make a set
The mavis, merle and robinet,
The lark, the linnet and the thrush
That make a quire of every bush.
But for still music we will keep
The wren and titmouse, which to sleep
Shall sing the bride when she's alone,
The rest into their chambers gone ;
And like those upon ropes that walk,
On gossamer from stalk to stalk
The tripping fairy tricks shall play
The evening of the wedding day.

Thus far we handsomely have gone :
Now for our Prothalamion
Or Marriage song, of all the rest
A thing that much must grace our feast.
Let us practise then to sing it
Ere we before the assembly bring it :
We in dialogues must do it ;
Then, my dainty girls, set to it.

Claia. This day must Tita married be :
Come, nymphs, this nuptial let us see.

Mertilla. But is it certain that ye say ?
Will she wed the noble fay ?

Claris. Sprinkle the dainty flowers with dews
Such as the gods at banquets use :
Let herbs and weeds turn all to roses
And make proud the posts with posies :
Shoot your sweets into the air,
Charge the morning to be fair,

Claia. 1 For our Tita is this day

Mertilla. /To be married to a fay.

Claia. By whom then shall our bride be led
To the temple to be wed ?

Mertilla. Only by yourself and I :
Who that roomth should else supply ?

Claris. Come, bright girls, come altogether
And bring all your offerings hither,
Ye most brave and buxom bevy
All your goodly graces levy :


Come in majesty and state
Our bridal here to celebrate.

Mertilla.\FoT our Tita is this day

Claia. } Married to a noble fay.

Claia. Whose lot will't be the way to strow
On which to church our bride must go ?

Mertilla. That, I think, as fit'st of all
To lively Lelipa will fall.

Claris. Summon all the sweets that are
To this nuptial to repair

Till with their throngs themselves they smother,
Strongly stifling one another,
And at last they all consume
And vanish in one rich perfume.

Mertilla. \ For our Tita is this day

Claia. /Married to a noble fay.

Mertilla. But coming back when she is wed,
Who breaks the cake above her head ?

Claia. That shall Mertilla, for she's tallest,
And our Tita is the smallest.

Claris. Violins, strike up aloud,
Ply the gittern, scour the crowd,
Let the nimble hand belabour
The whistling pipe and drumbling tabor ;
To the full the bagpipe rack
Till the swelling leather crack.

Mertilla. For our Tita is this day
Married to a noble fay.

Claia. But when to dine she takes her seat
What shall be our Tita's meat ?

Mertilla. The gods this feast as to begin,
Have sent of their ambrosia in.

Claris. Then serve we up the straw's rich berry,
The Respas and Elisian cherry ;
The virgin honey from the flowers
In Hybla wrought in Flora's bowers ;
Full bowls of nectar, and no girl
Carouse but in dissolved pearl.

Mertilla. For our Tita is this day
Married to a noble fay.


Claris. In masques, in dances and delight,
And rear banquets spend the night ;
Then about the room we ramble,
Scatter nuts and for them scramble,
Over stools and tables tumble,
Never think of noise nor rumble.
Mertilla.\For our Tita is this day
Claia. /Married to a noble fay.



WE, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,

Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move ;

And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves,
By dimpled brook and fountain-brim,
The wood-nymphs, decked with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep :
What hath night to do with sleep ?





Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair ;

Listen for dear honour's sake,

Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen and save !

By the rushy-fring'd bank,

Where grows the willow and the osier dank,

My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azurn sheen
Of turkis blue, and emerald green,

That in the channel strays :
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread.
Gentle swain, at thy request
I am here !


The Elfin Pedlar

LADY and gentlemen fays, come buy !
No pedlar has such a rich packet as I.

Who wants a gown

Of purple fold,
Embroidered down
The seams with gold ?

See here ! a Tulip richly laced
To please a royal fairy's taste !


Who wants a cap

Of crimson grand ?
By great good hap
I've one on hand :

Look, sir ! a Cock's-comb, flowering red,
'Tis just the thing, sir, for your head !

Who wants a frock

Of vestal hue ?
Or snowy smock ?

Fair maid, do you f

O me ! a Ladysmock so white !
Your bosom's self is not more bright !

Who wants to sport
A slender limb ?
I've every sort
Of hose for him :

Both scarlet, striped, and yellow ones :
This Woodbine makes such pantaloons !


Who wants (hush ! hush !)

A box of paint ?
'Twill give a blush
Yet leave no taint :

This Rose with natural rouge is fill'd,
From its own dewy leaves distill'd.

Then lady and gentlemen fays, come buy !
You never will meet such a merchant as I !


Songs from "Prince Brightkin."

SCENE : A Forest in Fairyland.

First Fairy. FAIRIES and Elves !

Shadows of night
Pale and grow thin,

Branches are stirr'd ;
Rouse up yourselves ;

Sing to the light,
Fairies, begin,

Hark, there's a bird !

Second. For dreams are now fading,

Old thoughts in new morning :
Dull spectres and goblins
To dungeon must fly.
The starry night changeth,
Its low stars are setting,
Its lofty stars dwindle
And hide in the sky.

First. Fairies, awake !

Light on the hills !
Blossom and grass
Tremble with dew!;






General Chorus.

Gambols the snake,

Merry bird shrills,
Honey-bees pass,

Morning is new.

Pure joy of the cloudlets,
All rippled in crimson !
Afar over world's edge

The night-fear is roll'd ;
O look how the Great One
Uplifts himself kingly ;
At once the wide morning

Is flooded with gold !

Fairies, arouse !

Mix with your song
Harplet and pipe,

Thrilling and clear.
Swarm on the boughs !

Chant in a throng !
Morning is ripe,

Waiting to hear.

The merle and the skylark
Will hush for our chorus,
Quick wavelets of music,

Begin them anon !
Good-luck comes to all things
That hear us and hearken,
Our myriads of voices

Commingling in one.

Golden, golden

Light unfolding,
Busily, merrily, work and play,

In flowery meadows,

And forest-shadows,
All the length of a summer day !
All the length of a summer day !


Sprightly, lightly,

Sing we rightly !
Moments brightly hurry away !

Fruit-tree blossoms,

And roses' bosoms
Clear blue sky of a summer day !
Dear blue sky of a summer day !

Springlets, brooklets,

Greeny nooklets,
Hill and valley, and salt-sea spray !

Comrade rovers,

Fairy lovers,

All the length of a summer day !
All the livelong summer day !

The Noon Call

HEAR the call !
Fays, be still !
Noon is deep
On vale and hill.
Stir no sound
The Forest round !
Let all things hush
That fly or creep,
Tree and bush,
Air and ground !
Hear the call !
Silence keep !
One and all
Hush and sleep !



Song from "The Culprit Fay"

OUPHE and goblin ! imp and sprite !

Elf of eve ! and starry Fay !
Ye that love the moon's soft light,

Hither hither wend your way ;
Twine ye in a jocund ring,

Sing and trip it merrily,
Hand to hand, and wing to wing,

Round the wild witch-hazel tree.

Hail the wanderer again,

With dance and song, and lute and lyre,
Pure his wing and strong his chain.

And doubly bright his fairy fire.
Twine ye in an airy round,

Brush the dew and print the lea ;
Skip and gambol, hop and bound,

Round the wild witch-hazel tree.

The beetle guards our holy ground,

He flies about this haunted place,
And if mortal there be found,

He hums in his ears and flaps his face :
The leaf-harp sounds our roundelay,

The owlet's eyes our lanterns be ;
Thus we sing, and dance, and play,

Round the wild witch-hazel tree.

But hark ! from tower on tree-top high,

The sentry elf his call has made,
A streak is in the Eastern sky,

Shapes of moonlight ! flit and fade !
The hill-tops gleam in morning's spring,
The skylark shakes his dappled wing,
The day-glimpse glimmers on the lawn,
The cock has crowed, and the Fays are gone.




Owlspiegle and Cockledemoy


My boy, my boy.
Here, father, here.



Now the polestar's red and burning,
And the witch's spindle turning,

Appear, appear !
Cockledemoy !
My boy, my boy,

We'll sport us here
Our gambols play
Like elve and fay ;

And domineer,


Cock. Laugh, frolic, and frisk till the morning appear.

Lift latch open clasp
Shoot bolt and burst hasp !
Owl. Cockledemoy !

My boy, my boy,

What wilt thou do that will give thee joy ?
Wilt thou ride on the midnight owl ?
Cock. No, for the weather is stormy and foul.

Owl. Cockledemoy !

My boy, my boy,

What wilt thou do that can give thee joy ?
With a needle for sword, and a thimble for a hat,
Wilt thou fight a traverse with the castle cat ?
Cock, Oh no ! she has claws, and I like not that.

Owl. Cockledemoy !

My boy, my boy,

What shall we do that can give thee joy ?
Shall we go seek for a cuckoo's nest ?
Cock. That's best, that's best !

Both. About, about,

Like an elvish scout,

The cuckoo's a gull, and we'll soon find him out.
Owl. Cockledemoy, my hope, my care,

Where art thou now, O tell me where ?
Cock. Up in the sky,

On the bonny dragonfly,

Come, father, come you too

She has four wings, and strength enow,

And her long body has room for two.


Fairy Song

WHAT I am I must not show
What I am thou couldst not know
Something betwixt heaven and hell
Something that neither stood nor fell
Something that through thy wit or will
May work thee good may work thee ill.


Neither substance quite, nor shadow,
Haunting lonely moor and meadow,
Dancing by the haunted spring,
Riding on the whirlwind's wing ;

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