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THE FAIRY QUEEN SLEEPING, BY STOTHARD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: She lay upon a bank, the favourite haunt
Last Line: Wake, titania, wake, our queen!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters; Poetry & Poets; Spenser, Edmund (1552-1599); Stothard, Thomas (1755-1834)

She lay upon a bank, the favourite haunt
Of the spring wind in its first sunshine hour,
For the luxuriant strawberry blossoms spread
Like a snow-shower there, and violets
Bow'd down their purple vases of perfum
About her pillow, -- link'd in a gay band
Floated fantastic shapes, these were her guards,
Her lithe and rainbow elves.

WE have been o'er land and sea,
Seeking lovely dreams for thee, --
Where is there we have not been
Gathering gifts for our sweet queen.
We are come with sound and sight
Fit for fairy's sleep to-night: --
First around thy couch shall sweep
Odours, such as roses weep
When the earliest spring rain
Calls them into life again;
Next upon thine ear shall float
Many a low and silver note,
Stolen from a dark-eyed maid,
When her lover's serenade,
Rising as the stars grew dim,
Waken'd her from thoughts of him; --
There shall steal o'er lip and cheek
Gales, but all too light to break
Thy soft rest, -- such gales as hide
All day orange-flowers inside,
Or that, while hot noontide, dwell,
In the purple hyacinth bell;
And before thy sleeping eyes
Shall come glorious pageantries, --
Palaces of gems and gold,
Such as dazzle to behold, --
Gardens, in which every tree
Seems a world of bloom to be, --
Fountains, whose clear waters show
The white pearls that lie below. --
During slumber's magic reign
Other times shall live again;
First thou shalt be young and free
In thy days of liberty, --
Then again be woo'd and won
By thy stately OBERON.
Or thou shalt descend to earth,
And see all of mortal birth. --
No, that world's too full of care
For e'en dreams to linger there.
But; behold, the sun is set,
And the diamond coronet
Of the young moon is on high
Waiting for our revelry;
And the dew is on the flower,
And the stars proclaim our hour;
Long enough thy rest has been,
Wake, TITANIA, wake, our queen!

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