Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PROPER NEW BALLAD [ENTITLED THE FAIRIES' FAREWELL], by RICHARD CORBET



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A PROPER NEW BALLAD [ENTITLED THE FAIRIES' FAREWELL], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Farewell, rewards and fairies
Last Line: Such justices as you!
Alternate Author Name(s): Corbett, Richard
Variant Title(s): Farewell To The Fairies;the Fairies' Farewell
Subject(s): Fairies; Farewell; Elves; Parting


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 cleanliness
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 care 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 bee.

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 case.

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 Charistian deed
To pinch such black and blue.
Oh how the commonwealth doth want
Such Justices as you!





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