The Fairy Prince

Source: Joseph Riotson, Fairy-tales (pp. 119-21).
Originally from Pleasant Treatise of Witches (London, 1673).

There lived in Spain a notable and beautiful virgin, but far more famous for her excellence at her needle, insomuch that happy did the courtier think himself who could wear the smallest piece of her work, though at a price almost invaluable. It happened one day, as this admirable seamstress sate working in her garden, that, casting aside her eyes on some fair flower or tree, she saw, as she thought, a little gentleman, yet one that showed great nobility by his clothing, coming riding toward her from behind a bed of flowers; thus, surprised how anybody should come into her garden, but much more at the stature of the person, who, as he was on horseback, exceeded not a foot's length in height, she had reason to suspect that her eyes deceived her.

But the gallant, spurring his horse up the garden, made it not long,t hough his horse was little, before he came to see her: then, greeting the lady in most decent manner, after some compliments passed, he acquatins her with the cause of his bold arrival; that, forasmuch as he was a prince amongst the fairies, and did intend to celebrate his marriage on such a day, he desired she would work points for him and his princess against the time he appointed.

The lady consented to his demands, and he took his leave, but whether the multitude of business caused the lady to forget her promise, or the strangeness of the thing made her neglect her work, thinking her sight to have been deceived, I know not; yet so it fell out, where at when the appointed time came, the work was not ready.

The hour wherein she had promised the fairy prince some fruits of her needle happened to be one day as she was at dinner with many noble persons, having quite forgot her promise; when, on a sudden, casting her eye to the door, she saw an infinite train of fairies come in; so that, fixing her eyes on them, and remembering how she neglected her promise, she sate as one amazed, and astonished the whole company.

But, at last, the train had mounted upon the table, and as they were prancing on their horses round the brims of a large dish of white-broth, an office that seemed too busy in making way before them, fell into the dish, which caused the lady to burst into a sudden fit of laughter, and thereby to recover her senses.

When the whole fairy company was come upon the table, that the brims of every dish seemed filled with little horsemen, she saw the prince coming towards her, hearing that she had not done what she promised, seemed to go away displeased. The lady presently fell into a fit of melancholy, and, being asked by her friends the cause of these alterations and astonishments, related the whole matter; but not withstanding all their consolations, pined away and died not long after.

If You See A Faery Ring

If you see a faery ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tip-toe as you pass,
Last night faeries frolicked there-
And they're sleeping somewhere near.

If you see a tiny faery,
Lying fast asleep
Shut your eyes
And run away,
Do not stay to peek!
Do not tell
Or you'll break a faery spell.

by William Shakespeare

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