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By wells and rills, in meadowes greene,

We nightly dance our hey-day guise;
And to our fairye king and queene
We chant our moon-light minstrelsies.

When larks 'gin sing,

Away we fling;
And babes new borne steal as we go,

And elfe in bed

We leave instead,
And wend us laughing, ho, ho, ho!,

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From hag-bred Merlin's time have I

Thus nightly revell’d to and fro: And for my pranks men call me by The name of Robin Good-fellow.

Fiends, ghosts, and sprites,

Who haunt the nightes,
The hags and goblins do me know;

And beldames old

My feates have told;
So Vale, Vale; ho, ho, ho !

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XXV.

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 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 ex. ceeding 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. Svo.

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,

5 For this place is fairye ground.

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When mortals are at rest,
And snoring in their nest;
Unheard, and unespy'd,
Through key-hole, we do glide ;

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Orer

Over tables, stools, and shelves,
We trip it with our fairy elves.

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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.

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But if the house be swept,
And from uncleanness kept,
We praise the houshold maid,

And duely she is paid :
For we use before we goe
To drop a tester in her shoe.

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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.

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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.

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The

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.

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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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XXVI.

THE FAIRIES FAREWELL,

This humorous old song fell from the hand of the witty Dr. Corber (afterwards bishop of Norwich, &c.) and is printed from his Poëtica Stromata, 1648, 12mo. (compared with the third edition of his Poems, 1672.) It is there called “A proper new Ballad, intitled, The “Fairies Farewell, or God-a-mercy Will, to be sung

or whistled to the tune of The Meddow Brow, “ by the learned; by the unlearned, to the tune of o Fortune."

The departure of Fairies is here attributed to the abolition of monkery : Chaucer has, with equal humour, assigned a cause the very reverse, in his Wife of Bath's Tale.

“In olde dayes of the king Artour,
« Of which that Bretons speken gret honour,
“ All was this lond fulfilled of faerie;
" The elf-quene, with hire joly compagnie
- Danced ful oft in many a grene mede.
- This was the old opinion as I rede i
“I speke of many hundred yeres ago;
« But now can no man see non elves mo,
“For now the grete charitee and prayeres

Of limitoures and other holy freres,
“ That serchen every land and every streme,
** As thikke as motes in the sonne beme,

“ Blissing halles, chambres, kichenes, and boures,
- Citees and burghes, castles high, and toures,

Thropes and bernes, shepenes and dairies, " This maketh that ther ben no faeries :

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