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A FAIRY TALE.

In Britain's isle, and Arthur's days, When midnight fairies danc'd the maze,

Liv'd Edwin of the Green ; Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth, Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,

Though badly shap'd he been.

His mountain back mote well be said
To measure height against his head,

And lift itself above;
Yet spite of all that nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,

This creature dar'd to love.

He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,

Could ladies look within ;
But one Sir Topaz dress'd with art,
And, if a shape could win a heart,

He had a shape to win.

Edwin, if right I read my song,
With slighted passion pac'd along

All in the moony light;
'Twas near an old enchanted court,
Where sportive fairies made resort

To revel out the night. His heart was drear, his hope was cross'il, 'Twas late, 'twas far, the path was lost

That reach'd the neighbour-town; With weary steps he quits the shades, Resolv'd, the darkling dome he treads,

And drops his limbs adown.

But scant he lays him on the floor,
When hollow winds remove the door,

And, trembling, rocks the ground:
And, well I ween to count aright,
At once a hundred tapers light

On all the walls around.

Now sounding tongues assail his ear,
Now sounding feet approachen near,

And now the sounds increase :
And from the corner where he lay
He sees a train profusely gay

Come prankling o'er the place.

But (trust me, gentles !) never yet
Was dight a masking half so neat,

Or half rich before;
The country lent the sweet perfumes,
The sea the pearl, the sky the plumes,

The town its silken store.

Now whilst he gaz'd, a gallant dressid In flaunting robes above the rest,

With awful accent cried, • What mortal of a wretched mind, Whose sighs infect the balmy wind,

Has here presum'd to hide ?'

At this the swain, whose venturous soul No fears of magic art controul,

Advanc'd in open sight; • Nor have I cause of dreed, (he said) Who view, by no presumption led,

Your revels of the night.

'Twas grief, for scorn of faithful love, Which made my steps unweeting rove

Amid the nightly dew.' ' 'Tis well, (the gallant cries again) We fairies never injure men

Who dare to tell us true.

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• Exalt thy love-dejected heart, Be mine the task, or ere we part,

To make thee grief resign; Now take the pleasure of thy chaunce; Whilst I with Mab, my partner, daunce,

Be little Mable thine.'

He spoke, and all a sudden there
Light music floats in wanton air ;

The monarch leads the queen :

The rest their fairy partners found :
And Mable trimly tripp'd the ground

With Edwin of the Green.

The dauncing pass’d, the board was laid,
And siker such a feast was made

As heart and lip desire,
Withouten hands the dishes fly,
The glasses with a wish come nigh,

And with a wish retire.

But now to please the fairy king,
full every deal they laugh and sing,

And antic feats devise ;
Some wind and tumble like an ape,
And other-some transmute their shape

In Edwin's wondering eyes.

Till one at last, that Robin hight,
Renown'd for pinching maids by night,

Has hent him up aloof;
And full against the beam he flung,
Where by the back the youth he hung

To spraul unneath the roof.

From thence, « Reverse my charm, (he cries) And let it fairly now suffice

The gambol has been shown :' But Oberon answers, with a smile, • Content thee, Edwin, for awhile,

The vantage is thine own.'

Here ended all the phantom piay;
They smelt the fresh approach of day,

And heard a cock to crow;
The whirling wind that bore the crowd
Has clapp'd the door, and whistled lourd,

To warn them all to go.

Then screaming all at once they fly,
And all at once the tapers die ;

Poor Edwin falls to floor;
Forlorn his state, and dark the place,
Was never wight in sike a case

Through all the land before.

But soon as dan Apollo rose,
Full jolly creature home he goes,

He feels his back the less;
His honest tongue and steady mind
Han rid him of the lump behind,

Which made him want success.

With lusty livelyhed he talks,
He seems a dauncing as he walks,

His story soon took wind;
And beauteous Edith sees the youth
Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,

Without a bunch behind.

The story told, Sir Topaz mov'd,
The youth of Edith erst approv'd,

To see the revel scene :
At close of eve he leaves his home,
And wends to find the ruin'd dome,

All on the gloomy plain.

As there he bides, it so befell,
The wind came rustling down a dell,

A shaking seiz'd the wall ;
Up spring the tapers as before,
The fairies bragly foot the floor,

And music fills the hall.

But, certes, sorely sunk with woe
Sir Topaz sees the elfin show,

His spirits in him die :
When Oberon cries, • A man is near,
A mortal passion, cleped fear,

Hangs flagging in the sky.'

With that Sir Topaz, hapless youth !
In accents faltering, ay, for ruth,

Intreats them pity graunt;
• For als he been a mister wight
Betray'd by wandering in the night

To tread the circled haunt.

• Ah losell vile, at once they roar ; And little skill'd of fairie lore,

Thy cause to come, we know:

Now has thy kestrell courage fell;
And fairies, since a lie you tell,

Are free to work thee woe.'

Then Will, who bears the wipsy fire
To trail the swaius among the mire,

The caitive upward flung ;
There, like a tortoise in a shop,
He dangled from the chamber-top,

Where whilom Edwin hung.

The revel now proceeds apace,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,

They sit, they drink, and eat ;
The time with frolic mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while

Till all the rout retreat.

By this the stars began to wink,
They shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,

And down ydrops the knight:
For never spell, by fairie laid,
With strong enchantment bound a glade.

Beyond the length of night.

Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
Till up the welkin rose the day,

Then deem'd the dole was o'er :
But wot ye well his harder lot ?
His seely back the bunch had got

Which Edwin lost afore,

This tale a sybil nurse ared ;
She softly stroak’d my youngling head,

And when the tale was done, • Thus some are born, my son, (she cries) With base impediments to rise,

And some are born with none.

• But virtue can itself advance
To what the favorite fools of chance

Bv fortune seem design'd;
Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
And from itself shake off the weight

Upon the' unworthy mind.'

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