FAIRY TALE IN THE Ancient ENGLISH Style.
1 IN Britain's Isle and Arthur's days,
2 When Midnight Faeries daunc'd the Maze,
3 Liv'd Edwin of the Green;
4 Edwin, I wis, a gentle Youth,
5 Endow'd with Courage, Sense and Truth,
6 Tho' badly Shap'd he been.
7 His Mountain Back mote well be said
8 To measure heigth against his Head,[Page 33]
9 And lift it self above:
10 Yet spite of all that Nature did
11 To make his uncouth Form forbid,
12 This Creature dar'd to love.
13 He felt the Charms of Edith's Eyes,
14 Nor wanted Hope to gain the Prize,
15 Cou'd Ladies look within;
16 But one Sir Topaz dress'd with Art,
17 And, if a Shape cou'd win a Heart,
18 He had a Shape to win.
19 Edwin (if right I read my Song)
20 With slighted Passion pac'd along
21 All in the Moony Light:
22 'Twas near an old enchaunted Court,
23 Where sportive Faeries made Resort
24 To revel out the Night.
25 His Heart was drear, his Hope was cross'd,
26 'Twas late, 'twas farr, the Path was lost
27 That reach'd the Neighbour-Town;
28 With weary Steps he quits the Shades,
29 Resolv'd the darkling Dome he treads,
30 And drops his Limbs adown.
31 But scant he lays him on the Floor,
32 When hollow Winds remove the Door,
33 A trembling rocks the Ground:
34 And (well I ween to count aright)
35 At once an hundred Tapers light
36 On all the Walls around.
37 Now sounding Tongues assail his Ear,
38 Now sounding Feet approachen near,[Page 35]
39 And now the Sounds encrease:
40 And from the Corner where he lay
41 He sees a Train profusely gay
42 Come pranckling o'er the Place.
43 But (trust me Gentles!) never yet
44 Was dight a Masquing half so neat,
45 Or half so rich before;
46 The Country lent the sweet Perfumes,
47 The Sea the Pearl, the Sky the Plumes,
48 The Town its silken Store.
49 Now whilst he gaz'd, a Gallant drest
50 In flaunting Robes above the rest,
51 With awfull Accent cry'd;
52 What Mortall of a wretched Mind,
53 Whose Sighs infect the balmy Wind,
54 Has here presum'd to hide?
55 At this the Swain whose vent'rous Soul
56 No Fears of Magick Art controul,
57 Advanc'd in open sight;
58 'Nor have I Cause of Dreed, he said,
59 ' Who view by no Presumption led
60 'Your Revels of the Night.
61 'Twas Grief, for Scorn of faithful Love,
62 'Which made my Steps unweeting, rove
63 ' Amid the nightly Dew.
64 'Tis well, the Gallant crys again,
65 We Faeries never injure Men
66 Who dare to tell us true.
67 Exalt thy Love-dejected Heart,
68 Be mine the Task, or e'er we part,[Page 37]
69 To make thee Grief resign;
70 Now take the Pleasure of thy Chaunce;
71 Whilst I with Mab my part'ner daunce,
72 Be little Mable thine.
73 He spoke, and all a sudden there
74 Light Musick floats in wanton Air;
75 The Monarch leads the Queen:
76 The rest their Faerie Partners found,
77 And Mable trimly tript the Ground
78 With Edwin of the Green.
79 The Dauncing past, the Board was laid,
80 And siker such a Feast was made
81 As Heart and Lip desire;
82 Withouten Hands the Dishes fly,
83 The Glasses with a Wish come nigh,
84 And with a Wish retire.
85 But now to please the Faerie King,
86 Full ev'ry deal they laugh and sing,
87 And antick Feats devise;
88 Some wind and tumble like an Ape,
89 And other-some transmute their Shape
90 In Edwin's wond'ring Eyes.
91 'Till one at last that Robin hight,
92 (Renown'd for pinching Maids by Night)
93 Has hent him up aloof;
94 And full against the Beam he flung,
95 Where by the Back the Youth he hung
96 To spraul unneath the Roof.
97 From thence, "Reverse my Charm, he crys,
98 " And let it fairely now suffice[Page 39]
99 "The Gambol has been shown.
100 But Oberon answers with a Smile,
101 Content thee Edwin for a while,
102 The Vantage is thine own.
103 Here ended all the Phantome-play;
104 They smelt the fresh Approach of Day,
105 And heard a Cock to crow;
106 The whirling Wind that bore the Crowd
107 Has clap'd the Door, and whistled loud,
108 To warn them all to go.
109 Then screaming all at once they fly,
110 And all at once the Tapers dy;
111 Poor Edwin falls to Floor;
112 Forlorn his State, and dark the Place,
113 Was never Wight in sike a Case
114 Through all the Land before.
115 But soon as Dan Apollo rose,
116 Full Jolly Creature home he goes,
117 He feels his Back the less;
118 His honest Tongue and steady Mind
119 Han rid him of the Lump behind
120 Which made him want Success.
121 With lusty livelyhed he talks,
122 He seems a dauncing as he walks,
123 His Story soon took wind;
124 And beautious Edith sees the Youth,
125 Endow'd with Courage, Sense and Truth,
126 Without a Bunch behind.
127 The Story told, Sir Topaz mov'd,
128 (The Youth of Edith erst approv'd)[Page 41]
129 To see the Revel Scene:
130 At close of Eve he leaves his home,
131 And wends to find the ruin'd Dome
132 All on the gloomy Plain.
133 As there he bides, it so befell,
134 The Wind came rustling down a Dell,
135 A shaking seiz'd the Wall:
136 Up spring the Tapers as before,
137 The Faeries bragly foot the Floor,
138 And Musick fills the Hall.
139 But certes sorely sunk with woe
140 Sir Topaz sees the Elphin show,
141 His Spirits in him dy:
142 When Oberon crys, 'a Man is near,
143 ' A mortall Passion, cleeped Fear,
144 'Hangs flagging in the Sky.
145 With that Sir Topaz (Hapless Youth!)
146 In Accents fault'ring ay for Ruth
147 Intreats them Pity graunt;
148 For als he been a mister Wight
149 Betray'd by wand'ring in the Night
150 To tread the circled Haunt;
151 'Ah Losell Vile, at once they roar!
152 ' And little skill'd of Faerie lore,
153 'Thy Cause to come we know:
154 ' Now has thy Kestrell Courage fell;
155 'And Faeries, since a Ly you tell,
156 ' Are free to work thee Woe.
157 Then Will, who bears the wispy Fire
158 To trail the Swains among the Mire,[Page 43]
159 The Caitive upward flung;
160 There like a Tortoise in a Shop
161 He dangled from the Chamber-top,
162 Where whilome Edwin hung.
163 The Revel now proceeds apace,
164 Deffly they frisk it o'er the Place,
165 They sit, they drink, and eat;
166 The time with frolick Mirth beguile,
167 And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
168 'Till all the Rout retreat.
169 By this the Starrs began to wink,
170 They skriek, they fly, the Tapers sink,
171 And down ydrops the Knight.
172 For never Spell by Faerie laid
173 With strong Enchantment bound a Glade
174 Beyond the length of Night.
175 Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
176 Till up the Welkin rose the Day,
177 Then deem'd the Dole was o'er:
178 But wot ye well his harder Lot?
179 His seely Back the Bunch has got
180 Which Edwin lost afore.
181 This Tale a Sybil-Nurse ared;
182 She softly strok'd my youngling Head,
183 And when the Tale was done,
184 'Thus some are born, my Son (she cries)
185 ' With base Impediments to rise,
186 'And some are born with none.
187 'But Virtue can it self advance
188 ' To what the Fav'rite Fools of Chance[Page 45]
189 ' By Fortune seem'd design'd;
190 'Virtue can gain the Odds of Fate,
191 ' And from it self shake off the Weight
192 'Upon th' unworthy Mind.