Bob's Byway


1563 - 1631


The Court of Fairy


 * This poem provides an example of a tail rhyme.
Old Chaucer doth of Thopas tell,
Mad Rabelais of Pantagruel,
A latter third of Dowsabell,
With such poor trifles playing;
Others the like have labored at
Some of this thing, and some of that,
And many of they know not what,
But that they must be saying.

Another sort there be that will
Be talking of the Fairies still,
Nor ever can they have their fill,
As they were wedded to them;
No tales of them their thirst can slake,
So much delight therein they take,
And some strange thing they fain would make,
Knew they the way to do them.

Then since no Muse hath been so bold,
Or of the later, or the old,
Those elvish secrets to unfold
Which lie from others' reading,
My active Muse to light shall bring
The court of that proud Fairy King,
And tell there of the reveling
Jove prosper my proceeding.

And thou, Nymphidia, gentle fay,
Which meeting me upon the way
These secrets didst to me bewray,
Which I now am in telling;
My pretty light fantastic maid,
I here invoke thee to my aid,
That I may speak what thou hast said,
In numbers smoothly swelling.

This palace standeth in the air,
By necromancy placed there,
That it no tempests needs to fear,
Which way soe'er it blow it.
And somewhat southward toward the noon,
Whence lies a way up to the moon,
And thence the Fairy can as soon
Pass to the earth below it.

The walls of spiders' legs are made,
Well mortised and finely laid;
He was the master of his trade
It curiously builded;
To Tail Rhyme in the Glossary
Alphabetic Page Version Entire Glossary Version
The windows of the eyes of cats,
And for the roof, instead of slats,
Is covered with the skins of bats,
With moonshine that are gilded.

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 * This poem provides an example of a Shakespearean sonnet.
Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,--
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
To Sonnet in the Glossary
Alphabetic Page Version Entire Glossary Version
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,--
    Now if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
    From death to life thou might'st him yet recover!