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And the calceolaria's dew-steep'd woof,
They form into slippers water-proof.

Were I of the milliner craft, I ween,

I might the trinkums all explain, Nor refer to the Ladies' Magazine

For the fashions that enter damsels' brain; But I know of gowns there were fifty-three, Besides a bright green from the tulip-tree.

And of every texture they were made,

Mosselin, and velvet, and gros-de-Naples ;
And the boxes in which they were nicely laid,
Were all veneer'd with the birds'-eye maple.
And there they were, all speck and span,
As ever came home from a milliner man.


Now perhaps you marvel all the while,
That Fairies should both toil and spin,
And think that I speak in too loose a style
Of beings of such a kith and kin.

But I've learnt their lore, and boldly state,
They can substances change, but not create.

And suppose they had furnish'd sweet Mary's dress,
With a snap of the fingers sans stitch or stroke,
They would be sorry patterns of idleness.

But Fairies must work like other folk,

Though with spells over water, earth, and air,

That can change them to things most strange and rare.

But there must be the seeds, as the syrup laid
The essence of honey in patient flowers-
And the sweetest of love that ever was made,

Has been ta'en from the fragrance of true-love bowers, And gentle thoughts from sunny looks,

And the soul of music from running brooks.

You cannot pick love from a pavement-stone,
For the chisel has chipp'd it all away;
But invisible hands have its essence sown,
O'er that which is cover'd with lichens grey.
And, pray tell me, who would enter the lists,
With Fays, the marvellous Alchymists?

Yet these are but mysteries and cabala,
That little concern or you or me;
And have nothing to do with Mary M'Gragh,
All the while under the Wishing-Tree;
To whom, at the winking of her eyes,
The Queen of the Fairies convey'd the prize.

If Thetis brought to her mortal son,

All nicely pack'd in her own sweet arms,

An armoury suit that might weigh a ton

You have learn'd very little of spells and charms, Not to know that a box of Millinerie,

Might drop at the foot of a Wishing-Tree.

And Thetis she was but a nymph marine,

But Englonde, and Scotland, and Erin-go-BraghWhy shouldn't our own good Fairy Queen

Do much better things for Mary M'Gragh? And the Elves work harder there and then, Than ever could fifty milliner men.


MARY M'GRAGH was still bending her head,
And her lips apart shew'd rows of pearls;
And her eyes a lucid wonder shed,

For I saw it myself through her drooping curls;
And her delicate fingers were pois'd as much,
Or more, in surprise, than rais'd to touch.

Not the fam'd fingers of rosy Morn,

Nor of Iris, that with one touch of joy Old Somnus awak'd at his gates of horn, Nor the fairer fingers of Helen of Troy, When she pointed from tower of Pergama, Were at all like those of Mary M'Gragh.

She was a beauty of such degree!

As a vision seen in a pleasant trance,
When the sunshine under the green-wood tree
Plays on the pages of old Romance.
And who would not be an Errant Knight
For a smile from beauty half so bright?

But Chivalry's gone,-monies and rents

Are the only things" to have and to hold;" And unless it brings lands and tenements,

Beauty's scarce worth its weight in gold. Now Mary bent down, with a wond'ring look, Like a wood-nymph over a glassy brook.

O but it was the pleasantest sight,

And many the pleasant sights are seen,
By favour'd eyes, 'twixt the yellow light
That flicker'd amid the shadows green;
But all that pass'd between her and the Fay,
As I didn't well hear, I will not say.

But the Fairy gave to the Maiden a rose,

The which in her bosom she must wear;

That did an invisible Sprite enclose;

"And be this," quoth she, " thy special care,
For there needeth that faithful sentinel
Potent and perfect to keep the spell.

"Oh! guard it sure, 'tis a precious flower,
For the like it groweth not in ground;
It was gather'd in our innermost bower,
That arm'd Elves ever do stand around;
And folded within there lurketh an Elf,
That will work thee good as I myself."

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And the fiddlers wink'd as the music rose,
For they thought it came from their own elbows.

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But when Mary encounter'd that fatal dance,
The Rose it trembled, as if a blast
Had chill'd all its leaves-but not a glance

Did the maiden unto the warning cast-
Thrice the pink leaves changed to a deadly white,
And the fiddles in sympathy scream'd affright.

Ah! Mary, why didst thou so dance and spin,

Or why didst thou go to the Ladies' Bazaar,For, oh, it was that fatal pin,

That toy with its flimsy faithless star— Was it such vile thing as this you chose, To hold that precious enchanted Rose?

The star it snapt from the brittle pin,

At the very last turn of a pirouette; And the shock was felt by Sprite within, Who boldly the moment of peril met: For he threw his weight and clung with his might, On the mosselin that edged her bosom white.

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Thus at Amphitrite's marriage festoons that hung
From the chamber of pearls in Neptune's hall,
As worthless things, were afterwards flung,

For dolphin and porpoise to sport withal.
The relics whereof, to this very day,
Float as sea-weeds into creek and bay.

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