Autumn is such a magical time of thanksgiving, family and friendship – and yes, fairies! I thought this little poesy to be most apropos for this special time of the year. Thank you for stopping by!
The Three Beggars
‘Twas autumn daybreak gold and wild,
While past St. Ann’s grey tower they shuffled,
Three beggars spied a fairy-child
In crimson mantle muffled.
The daybreak lighted up her face
All pink, and sharp, and emerald-eyed;
She looked on them a little space,
And shrill as hautboy cried: —
“O three tall footsore men of rags
Which walking this gold morn I see,
What will ye give me from your bags
For fairy kisses three?”
The first, that was a reddish man,
Out of his bundle takes a crust:
“La, by the tombstones of St. Ann,
There’s fee, if fee ye must!”
The second, that was a chestnut man,
Out of his bundle draws a bone:
“La, by the belfry of St. Ann,
And all my breakfast gone!”
The third, that was a yellow man,
Out of his bundle picks a groat,
“La, by the Angel of St. Ann,
And I must go without.”
That changeling, lean and icy-lipped,
Touched crust, and bone, and groat, adnd lo!
Beneath her finger taper-tipped
The magic all ran through.
Instead of crust a peacock pie,
Instead of bone sweet venison,
Instead of groat a white lilie
With seven blooms theron.
And each fair cup was deep with wine:
Such was the changeling’s charity,
The sweet feast was enough for nine,
But not too much for three.
O toothsome meat in jelly froze!
O tender haunch of elfin stag!
O rich the odour that arose!
O plump with scraps each bag!
There, in the daybreak gold and wild,
Each merry-hearted beggar man
Drank deep unto the fairy child,
And blessed the good St. Ann.
~Walter de la Mare