Richard Corbet

Here you will find the Poem The Fairies Farewell of poet Richard Corbet

The Fairies Farewell

FAREWELL, rewards and fairies, 
 Good housewives now may say, 
For now foul sluts in dairies 
 Do fare as well as they. 
And though they sweep their hearths no less 
 Than maids were wont to do, 
Yet who of late for cleanness 
 Finds sixpence in her shoe? 
Lament, lament, old Abbeys, 
 The Fairies? lost command! 
They did but change Priests? babies, 
 But some have changed your land. 
And all your children, sprung from thence, 
 Are now grown Puritans, 
Who live as Changelings ever since 
 For love of your demains. 
At morning and at evening both 
 You merry were and glad, 
So little care of sleep or sloth 
 These pretty ladies had; 
When Tom came home from labour, 
 Or Cis to milking rose, 
Then merrily went their tabor, 
 And nimbly went their toes. 
Witness those rings and roundelays 
 Of theirs, which yet remain, 
Were footed in Queen Mary?s days 
 On many a grassy plain; 
But since of late, Elizabeth, 
 And later, James came in, 
They never danced on any heath 
 As when the time hath been. 
By which we note the Fairies 
 Were of the old Profession. 
Their songs were `Ave Mary?s?, 
 Their dances were Procession. 
But now, alas, they all are dead; 
 Or gone beyond the seas; 
Or farther for Religion fled; 
Or else they take their ease. 
A tell-tale in their company 
 They never could endure! 
And whoso kept not secretly 
 Their mirth, was punished, sure; 
It was a just and Christian deed 
 To pinch such black and blue. 
Oh how the commonwealth doth want 
 Such Justices as you!