A Lover's Quarrel Among The Faeries
Do not fear us, earthly maid!
we will lead you hand in hand
by the willows in the glade
by the gorse on the high land
by the pasture where the lambs
shall wake with lonely bleat
shivering closer to their dams
from the rustling of our feet.
You will with the banshee chat
and will find her good at heart
sitting on a warm smooth mat
in the hills inmost part.
We will bring a crown of gold
bending humbly every knee
now thy great white doll to hold
oh so happy we would be!
Ah it is so very big
and we are so very small!
So we dance a faery jig
to the fiddle's rise and fall.
Yonder see the faery girls
all their jealousy display
lift their chins and toss their curls
list their chins and turn away.
See you, brother, cranberry fruit
he! ho! ho! the merry blade!
hugs and pets and pats yond newt
teasing every willful maid.
Lead they one with foolish care
deafening us with idle sound -
one whose breathing shakes the air
one whose footfall shakes the ground.
Come you, coltsfoot, mousetail, come!
Come I know where, far away
owls there be whom age makes numb;
come and tease them till the day.
Puffed like puff-balls on a tree
scoff they at the modern earth -
ah! how large mice used to be
in their days of youthful mirth!
Come, beside a sandy lake
feed a fire with stems of grass;
roasting berries steam and shake -
talking hours swiftly pass!
Long before the morning fire
wake the larks upon the green.
Yonder foolish ones will tire
of their tall, new-fangles queen.
They will lead her home again
to the orchard-circles farm;
at the house of weary men
raise the door pin with alarm
and come kneeling on one knee
while we shake our head and scold
this their wanton treachery
and our slaves be as old.