An Old Song of Fairies

Come, follow, follow me,

You, fairy elves that be:

Which circle on the greene,

Come, follow Mab your queene.

Hand in hand let's dance around,

For this place is fairye ground.

When mortals are at rest,

And snoring in their nest:

Unheard, and unespy'd,

Through key-holes we do glide;

Over tables, stools, and shelves,

We trip it with our fairy elves.

And, if the house be foul

With platter, dish, or bowl,

Up stairs we nimbly creep,

And find the sluts asleep:

There we pinch their armes and thighes;

None escapes, nor none espies.

But if the house be swept,

And from uncleanness kept,

We praise the household maid,

And duely she is paid:

For we use before we goe

To drop a tester in her shoe.

Upon a mushroomes head

Our table-cloth we spread;

A grain of rye, or wheat,

Is manchet, which we eat;

Pearly drops of dew we drink

In acorn cups fill'd to the brink.

The brains of nightingales,

With unctuous fat of snailes,

Between two cockles stew'd,

Is meat that's easily chew'd;

Tailes of wormes, and marrow of mice,

Do make a dish, that's wonderous nice.

The grashopper, gnat, and fly,

Serve for our minstrelsie;

Grace said, we dance a while,

And so the time beguile:

And if the moon doth hide her head,

The gloe-worm lights us home to bed.

On tops of dewie grasse

So nimbly do we passe,

The young and tender stalk

Ne'er bends when we do walk:

Yet in the morning may be seen

Where we the night before have been.