Percy's Reliques - The Fairy Queen.

The Fairy Queen.

            We have here a short display of the popular belief concerning FAIRIES. It will afford entertainment to a contemplative mind to trace these whimsical opinions up to their origin. Whoever considers how early, how extensively, and how uniformly, they have prevailed in these nations, will not readily assent to the hypothesis of those who fetch them from the East so late as the time of the croisades. Whereas it is well known that our Saxon ancestors, long before they left their German forests, believed in the existence of a kind of diminutive demons, or middle species between men and spirits, whom they called Duergar, or Dwarfs, and to whom they attributed many wonderful performances, far exceeding human art. Vid. Hervarer Saga Olaj Verelj. 1675, Hickes' Thesaur. &c.

            This song is given (with some corrections by another copy) from a book intitled "The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, &c." Lond. 1658, 8vo.

COME, follow, follow me,
You, fairy elves that be:
Which circle on the greene,
Come, follow Mab your queene.
Hand in hand let's dance around,
For this place is fairye ground.

When mortals are at rest,
And snoring in their nest:
Unheard, and unespy'd,
Through key-holes we do glide;
Over tables, stools, and shelves,
We trip it with our fairy elves.

And, if the house be foul
With platter, dish, or bowl,
Up stairs we nimbly creep,
And find the sluts asleep:
There we pinch their armes and thighes;
None escapes, nor none espies.

But if the house be swept,
And from uncleanness kept,
We praise the household maid,
And duely she is paid:
For we use before we goe
To drop a tester in her shoe.

Upon a mushroomes head
Our table-cloth we spread;
A grain of rye, or wheat,
Is manchet; which we eat;
Pearly drops of dew we drink
In acorn cups fill'd to the brink.

The brains of nightingales,
With unctuous fat of snailes,
Between two cockles stew'd,
Is meat that's easily chew'd;
Tailes of wormes, and marrow of mice,
Do make a dish, that's wonderous nice.

The grashopper, gnat, and fly,
Serve for our. minstrelsie;
Grace said, we dance a while,
And so the time beguile:
And if the moon doth hide her head,
The gloe-worm lights us home to bed.

On tops of dewie grasse
So nimbly do we passe,
The young and tender stalk
Ne'er bends when we do walk:
Yet in the morning may be seen
Where we the night before have been.

 

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