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Alice Cary


The story-books have told you

Of the fairy-folk so nice,

That make them leather aprons

Of the ears of little mice;

And wear the leaves of roses,

Like a cap upon their heads,

And sleep at night on thistle-down,

Instead of feather-beds!

These stories, too, have told you,

No doubt to your surprise,

That the fairies ride in coaches

That are drawn by butterflies;

And come into your chambers,

When you are locked in dreams,

And right across your counterpanes

Make bold to drive their teams;

And that they heap your pillows

With their gifts of rings and pearls;

But do not heed such idle tales,

My little boys and girls.

There are no fairy-folk that ride

About the world at night,

Who give you rings and other things,

To pay for doing right.

But if you do to others what

You'd have them do to you,

You'll be as blest as if the best

Of story-books were true.