I know not if at theatres or fairs.
It needs must be so –
Fairies ’tis said shun all display
And most affect the pale moon’s ray
Sol’s potent ray soon drives them off
He’d instant find whereat to spurn and scoff –
Just so it was with folk in olden time,
Whose practices were held to be a crime.
They fled the powers that held despotic sway –
Poor little fairies! why not also they?
Fancy this pair aught else ’t’will do,
But male and female they are plain to view
Next to the Queen you here behind may count,
Some strapping fairy footmen mount
And garde chemin no doubt they well do serve.
Tiny in size but lusty in the nerve,
As every footman should be –
Above in attitude of fondest love
King Oberon & his Queen approve
The sport else why should they repair
To this sequestered spot the same to share
Merely perhaps to note the way things went.
And how many chops were useless made anent.
Pulling of straws out from a stack of wheat.
Is for a pastime not more meet.
And such the Old Lady in the Scarlet Cloak,
Might non-be fancying true – no joke.
Is it true for me or even you –
True if you care not – this is true.
Her nose and chin will never crack
The monster nuts & many a whack
From club or shining axe will want
Ere the chance fatal lights upon’t
Above the harridan some whose names
Serve schoolboys turn when at their games
They of the future calling prophecy
With boisterous laugh and ecstasy
Of childish mirth, nor want they
Perhaps a forced imposed belief.
In soldier and sailor, tinker or tailor
Ploughboy, apothecary, thief.
Counting their buttons down the vest.
A name to each – the last doth rest
The faded rade – soon from the thoughts ’tis laid
Aside and fairy prophecy forgot.
Here let me say my let of this same lot –
The ragged soldier sure is mad.
Made so by wounds, debauch and glad
But hard earned victory
Being fay, I’ve not the history.
I made it so but not from spite,
Else he’d find reason to requite
But ragamuffins to enlist.
He’s a brave spirit to assist.