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Hence shadows, seeming idle shapes,
When by Tom Thum a fairy page Of little frisking elves and apes,
He sent it, and doth hipi engage, To Earth do make their wanton scapes,
By promise of a mighty wage, As hope of pastime hastes them :
It secretly to carry: Which maids think on the hearth they see, Which done, the queen her maids doth call, When fires well-near consumed be,
And bids them to be ready all, There dancing bays by two and three,
She would go see her summer hall, Just as their fancy casts them.
She could no longer tarry. These make our girls their sluttry rue,
Her chariot ready straight is made, By pinching them both black and blue,
Each thing therein is otting laid, And put a penny in their shoe,
That she by nothing might be stay'd, The house for cleanly sweeping:
For pought must her be letting: And in their courses make that round,
Pour nimble goats the horses were, In meadows and in marshes found,
Their barnesses of gossamere, of them so call'd the Fairy-ground,
Fly Cranion, her charioteer, Of which they have the keeping.
Upon the coach-box getting. These, when a child haps to be got,
Her chariot of a snail's fine shell, Which after proves an idiot,
Which for the colours did excell; When folk perceive it thriveth not,
The fair queen Mab becoming well, The fault therein to smother:
So lively was the limning: Some silly doating brainless calf,
The seat the soft wool of the bee, That understands things by the half,
The cover (gallantly to see) Say, that the fairy left this aulf,
'The wing of a py'd butterflee, And took away the other.
I trow, 'twas simple trimming. But listen, and I shall you tell
The wheels compos'd of crickets' bones, A chance in Fairy that befell,
And daintily maule for the nonce, Which certainly may please some well,
For fear of rattling on the stones, In love and arms delighting:
With thistle-down they shod it; Of Oberon, that jealous grew
For all her maidens much did fear, Of one of his own fairy crew,
If Oberon had chanc'd to hear, Too well (he fear'd) his queen that knew,
That Mab his queen should have been there, His love but ill requiting.
He would not have abode it. Pigwiggen was this fairy knight,
She mounts her chariot with a trice, One woud'rous gracious in the sight
Nor would she stay for no advice, Of fair queen Mab, which day and night
Until her majds, that were so pice, He amorously observed :
To wait on her were fitted, Which made king Oberon suspect
But ran herself away alone; His service took too good effect,
Which when they heard, there was not one His sauciness and often check'd,
But basted after to be gone, And could have wish'd him starved.
As she had been diswitted. Pigwiggen gladly would commend
Hop, and Mop, and Drap so clear, Some token to queen Mab to send,
Pip, and Trip, and Skip, that were If sea or land him anght could lend,
To Mab their sovereign dear, Were worthy of her wearing:
Her special maids of bonour; At length this lover doth devise,
Fib, and Tib, and Pinck, and Pin, A bracelet made of emmets' eyes,
Tick, and Quick, and Jill, and Jin, A thing he thought that she would prize,
Tit, and Nit, and Wap, and Win, No whit her state in pairing.
The train that wait upon her. And to the queen a letter writes,
Upon a grass-hopper they got, Which he most curiously indites,
And what with amble and with trot, Conjuring her by all the rites
For bedge nor ditch they spared not, Of love, she would be pleased
But after her they hie them. To meet him her true servant, where
A cobweb over them they throw, They might without suspect or fear
To shield the wind if it should blow, Themselves to one another clear,
Themselves they wisely could bestow, And have their poor hearts eased.
Lest any should espy them. "At midnight the appointed hour,
But let us leave queen Mab a while, And for the queen a fitting bow'r,”
Through many a gate, o'er many a stile, Quoth he, “is that fair cowslip fow'r,
That now had gotten by this-while, On Hipcut-bill that groweth :
Her dear Pigwiggen kissing ; In all your train there's not a fay,
And tell how Oberon doth fare, That ever went to gather May,
Who grew as mad as any hare, But she hath made it in her way,
When he had sought each place with care, The tallest there that groweth."
And found his queen was missing.
By grisly Pluto he doth swear,
And being in this piteous case, He rent his clothes, and tore his hair,
And all beslurried head and face, And as he runneth here and there,
On runs he in this wildgoose chase, An acorn-cup he getteth;
As here and there be rambles, Which soon he taketh by the stalk,
Half blind, against a mole-hill hit, About his head he lets it walk,
And for a mountain taking it, Nor doth be any creature balk,
For all he was out of his wit, But lays on all he meeteth.
Yet to the top he scrambles The Tuscan poet doth advance
And being gotten to the top, The frantic Paladine of France,
Yet there himself he could not stop, And those more ancient do inhance
But down on th' other side doth chop, Alcides in his fury,
And to the foot came rumbling: And others Ajax Telamon :
So that the grubs therein that bred, But to this time there hath been none
Hearing such turmoil over head, So bedlam as our Oberon,
Thought surely they had all been dead, Of which I dare assure ye.
So fearful was the juinbling. And first encountring with a wasp,
And falling down into a lake, He in his arms the fly doth clasp,
Which him up to the neck doth take, As tho' his breath he forth would grasp,
His fury it doth somewhat slake, Him for Pigwiggen taking :
He calleth for a ferry: " Where is my wife, thou rogue?” (quoth he) Where you may some recovery note, “Pigwiggen, she is come to thee;
What was his club he made his boat, Restore her, or thou dy'st by me."
And in his oaken cup doth float, Whereat the poor wasp quaking,
As safe as in a wherry. Cries, “ Oberon, great fairy king,
Men talk of the adventures strange Content thce, I am no such thing ;
Of Don Quishot, and of their change, I am a wasp, behold my sting!"
Through which he armed oft did range, At which the fairy started.
Of Sancha Pancha's travel : When soon away the wasp doth go,
But should a man tell every thing, Poor wretch was never frighted so,
Done by this frantic fairy king, He thought his wings were much too slow,
And them in lofty numbers sing, O'erjoy'd they so were parted.
It well his wits might gravel. He next upon a glow-worm light,
Scarce set on shore, but therewitbal (You must suppose it now was night)
He meeteth Puck, which most men call Which, for her hinder part was bright,
Hobgoblin, and on bim doth fall He took to be a devil,
With words from phrenzy spoken: And furiously doth her assail
Hoh, hoh," quoth Hob, “God save thy grace, For carrying fire in her tail ;
Who dress'd thee in this piteous case? He thrash'd her rough coat with his fail,
He thus that spoil'd my sov'reign's face, The mad king fear'd no evil.
I would his neck were broken.” “ Oh !” (quoth the glow-worm)" hold thy hand, This Puck seems but a dreaming dolt, Thou puissant king of Fairy-land,
Still walking like a ragged colt, Thy mighty strokes who may withstand?
And oft out of a bush doth bolt, Hold, or of life despair 1."
Of purpose to deceive us; Together then herself doth roll,
And leading us, makes us to stray And tumbling down into a hole,
Long winter's nights out of the way, She seem'd as black as any coal,
And when we stick in mire and clay, Which vext away the fairy.
He doth with laughter leave us. From tbence he ran into a hive,
“Dear Puck," quoth he, “my wife is gone; Amongst the bees he letteth drive,
As ere thou lov'st king Oberon, And down their combs begins to rive,
Let every thing but this alone, All likely to have spoiled :
With vengeance and pursue her: Which with their wax his face besmear'd,
Bring her to me alive or dead; And with their honey daub'd his beard ;
Or that vile thief Pigwiggen's head; It would have made a man affear'd,
That villain hath defil'd my bed, To see how he was moiled.
He to this folly drew her.” A new adventure him betides :
Quoth Puck, “My liege, I'll never lin, He met an ant, which he bestrides,
But I will thorough thick and thin, And post thereon away he rides,
Until at length I bring her in, Which with his haste doth stumble,
My dearest lord, ne'er doubt it." And came full over on her snout,
Thorough brake, thorough brier, Her heels so threw the dirt about,
Thorough muck, thorough mier, For she by no means could get out,
Thorough water, thorough fier, But over him doth tumble.
And thus goes Puck about it.
This thing Nymphidia overheard,
And list’ning if she anght could hear, That on this mad king had a guard,
That her might hinder, or might fear; Not doubting of a great reward,
But finding still the coast was clear, For first this bus'ness broaching:
Nor creature had descry'd her: And through the air away doth go
Each circumstance and having scann'd, Swift as an arrow from the bow,
She came thereby to understand, To let her sovereign Mab to know
Puck would be with them out of band, What peril was approaching.
When to her charms she hy'd her. The queen, bound with love's pow'rfull'st charm, And first her fern-sead doth bestów, Sat with Pigwiggen arm in arm ;
The keruel of the misletoe ; Her merry maids, that thought no harm,
And here and there as Puck should go, About the room were skipping:
With terrour to affright him, A humble-bee their minstrel, play'd
She nightshade straws to work him ill, Upon his hautbois, ev'ry maid
Therewith her vervain and her dill, Fit for this revel was array'd,
That hind'reth witches of their will, The hornpipe neatly tripping.
Of purpose to despite him. In comes Nymphidia, and doth cry,
Then sprinkles she the juice of rue, " My sovereign, for your safety fiy,
That groweth anderneath the yew, For there is danger but too nigh,
With nine drops of the midnight dew, I posted to forewarn you:
From lunary distilling ; The king hath sent Hobgoblin out,
The molewarp's braim mixt therewithal, To seek you all the fields about,
And with the same the pismire's gall : And of your safety you may doubt,
For sbe in nothing short would fall,
The fairy was so willing.
Then thrice under a brier doth creep, Before them every thing went down;
Which at both ends was rooted deep, Some tore a ruff, and some a gown,
And over it three times she leapt, 'Gainst one another justling:
Her magic much availing : They flew about like chaff i'th' wind;
Then on Proserpina doth call, For baste some left their masks behind,
And so upon her spell doth fall,
Which here to you repeat I shall,
Not in one tittle failing.
“ By the croaking of the frog i Into a brake that near them lay,
By the howling of the dog ;
By the crying of the hog
Against the storm arising ;
By the evening curfeu-bell; All one to him the day and night,
By the doleful dying knell ;
O let this my direful spell,
Hob; hinder thy surprising.
“By the mandrakes dreadful groans ; In th' end of which a hole was cut,
By the Lubricans sad moans ; - Which lay upon a hazel root,
By the noise of dead men's bones
In charnel-bouses rattling ;
By the bissing of the snake, When quoth this fay, “ Dear queen, be glad, The rustling of the fire-drake, Let Oberon be ne'er so mad,
I charge thee this place forsake, l'll set you safe from peril.
Nor of queen Mab be prattling. “ Come all into this nut," quoth she,
“ By the whilwind's hollow sound, “ Come closely in, be ruld by me,
By the thunder's dreadful stound,
Yells of spirits under ground,
I charge thee not to fear us :
By the scritch-owl's dismal note, So one by one therein they crept,
By the black night-raven's throat, And lying down, they soundly slept,
I charge thee, Hob, to tear thy coat And safe as in a castle.
With thorns, if thou come near us.'' Nymphidia, that this while doth watch,
Her spell thus spoke, she stept aside, Perceiv'd if Puck the queen should catch,
And in a chink herself doth hide,
To see thereof what would betide,
For she doth only mind hiin:
When presently she Puck espies, The queen against him that must arm,
And well she mark'd his gloating eyes, Or surely he would do her harm,
How under every leaf he pries,
In seeking still to find them.
But once the circle got within,
His helmet was a beetle's head, The charms to work do straight begin,
Most horrible and full of dread, And he was caught as in a gin :
That able was to strike one dead, For as he thus was busy,
Yet it did well become him : A pain be in his head-piece feels,
And for a plume, a horse's hair, Against a stubbed tree ne reels,
Which being tossed by the air, And up went poor Hobgoblin's heels :
Had force to strike his foe with fear, Alas! bis brain was dizzy.
And turn his weapon from him. At length upon his feet he gets,
Himself he on an earwig set, Hobgoblin fumes, Hobgoblin frets,
Yet scarce be on his back could get, And as again he forward sets,
So oft and high he did curvet, And through the bushes scrambles,
Ere he himself could settle: A stump doth trip him in his pace,
He made him turn, and stop, and bound, Down comes poor Hlob upon his face,
To gallop, and to trot the round, And lamentably tore his case
He scarce could stand on any ground, Amongst the briers and brambles.
He was so full of mettle. Plague upon queen Mab," quoth be,
When soon he met with Tomalin, “ And all her maids, where'er they be ;
One that a valiant knight had been, I think the devil guided me,
And to great Oberon of kin: To seek her, so provoked.”
Quoth he, “ Thou manly fairy, When stumbling at a piece of wood,
Tell Oberon I come prepar'd, He fell into a ditch of mud,
Then bid him stand upon his guard; Where to the very cbin he stood,
This hand his baseness shall reward, In danger to be choked.
Let him be ne'er so wary. Now worse than e'er he was before,
Say to him thus, that I defy Poor Puck doth yell, poor Puck doth roar,
His slanders and his infamy, That wak'd queen Mab, who doubted sore
And as a mortal enemy Some treason had been wrought her :
Do publicly proclaim him: Until Nymphidia told the queen
Withal, that if I had mine own,
He should not wear the fairy crown,
Nor we a king should name him."
This Tomalia could not abide, Queen Mab and all her fairy rout,
To hear his sovereign vilify'd; And come again to bave a bout
But to the fairy court him hy'd, With Oberon yet madding:
Full furiously he postel, And with Pigwiggen now distraught,
With ev'ry thing Pigwiggen said; Who much was troubled in his thought,
How title to the crown he laid, That he so long the queen bad sought,
And in what arms he was array'd, And through the fields was gadding.
And how himself he boasted. And as he runs, he still doth cry,
'Twixt head and foot, froin point to point, King (beron, I thee defy,
He told the arming of each joint, And dare thee here in arms to try,
In every piece how neat and quaint; For my dear lady's honour:
For Tomalin could do it: For that she is a queen right good,
How fair he sat, how sure he rid; In whose defence I'll shed my blood,
As of the courser he bestrid, And that thou in this jealous mood
How manag'd, and how well he did. Hast laid this slander on her."
The king, which listen'd to it, And quickly arms him for the field,
Quoth he, “Go, Tomalin, with speed, A little cockle-shell his shield,
Provide me arms, provide my steed, Which he could very bravely wield,
And every thing that I shall need, Yet could it not be pierced :
By thee I will be guided : His spear a bent both stiff and strong,
To straight account call thou thy wit, And well near of too inches long:
See there be wanting not a whit, The pile was of a horsefly's tongue,
In ev'ry thing see thou me fit, Whose sharpness naught reversed.
Just as my foe's provided.” And puts bim on a coat of mail,
Soon flew this news through Fairy-land, Which was of a fish's scale,
Which gave queen Mab to understand That when his foe should him assail,
'The combat that was then in hand No point should be prevailing.
Betwixt those men so mighty: His rapier was a hornet's sting,
Which greatly she began to rue, It was a very dangerous thing;
Perceiving that all fairy knew, For if he chanc'd to hurt the king.
The first occasion from her grew, It would be long in healing,
Of these affairs so weighty:
Wherefore attended with her maids,
When to th' infernal Styx she goes, Through fogs, and mists, and damps she wades, She takes the fogs from thence that rose, To Proserpine the queen of sliades,
And in a bag doth them enclose, To treat, that it would please her
When well she had them blended : The cause into her bands to take,
She hies her then to Lethe spring, For ancient love and friendship's sake,
A bottle and thereof doth bring,
Wherewith she meant to work the thing
Which only she intended.
Now Proserpine with Mab is gone And come we to king Oberon,
Unto the place where Oberon
And proud Pigwiggen, one to one,
Both to be slain were likely :
And there themselves they closely bide, And had so well his journies cast,
Because they would not be espy'd ;
For Proserpine meant to decide
The matter very quickly.
And suddenly unties the poke, Tom Thum doth on Pigwiggen bring,
Which out of it sent such a smoke,
As ready was them all to choke,
So grievous was the pother :
So that the knights each other lost, To see them exercise their rage,
And stood as still as any post,
Tom Thum nor Tomalin could boast
Themselves of any other.
But when the mist 'gan somewhat cease, Ås they had been a very pair,
Proserpina commandeth peace,
And that awhile they should release
Each other of their peril :
“Which here," quoth she, “ I do proclaim That they were heard a mighty way:
To all, in dreadful Pluto's name,
That as ye will eschew his blame,
You let me hear the quarrel.
“ But here yourselves you must engage, Which was indifferent to them both,
Somewhat to cool your spleenish rage,
Your grievous thirst and to asswage,
That first you drink this liquor ;
Which shall your understandings clear, Wherewith to work each other's harms,
As plainly shall to you appear, Bat came with simple open arms,
Those things from me that you shall hear, To have their causes tried.
Conceiving much the quicker.” Together furiously they ran,
This Lethe water, you must know, Thát to the ground caine horse and man;
The memory destroyeth so,
That of our weal, or of our woe,
It all remembrance blotted,
Of it nor can you ever think : Yet quickly they regain'd their own;
For they no sooner took this drink, Such nimbleness was never shown,
But nought into their brains could sink,
Of what had them besotted.
King Oberon forgotten had,
That he for jealousy ran mad;
But of his queen was wond'rous glad,
And ask'd how they came thither. Their shields were into pieces cleft,
Pigwirgen likewise doth forget Their helmets froin their heads were reft,
That he queen Mab had ever met,
Or that they were so hard beset,
When they were found together,
Nor either of 'em both had thought,
That e'er they had each other sought,
Much less that they a combat fought,
But such a dream were loathing.
Tom Thum had got a little sup,
And Tomalin scarce kiss'd the cup, And make to them the groater speed,
Yet bad their brains so sure lockt up,
That they reinember'd nothing.