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The Fairy

Charles Lamb 1775 (Inner Temple, London) – 1834 (Edmonton, London)

Said Ann to Matilda, 'I wish that we knew
If what we've been reading of fairies be true.
Do you think that the poet himself had a sight of
The fairies he here does so prettily write of?
O what a sweet sight if he really had seen
The graceful Titania, the Fairy-land Queen!
If I had such dreams, I would sleep a whole year;
I would not wish to wake while a fairy was near.-
Now I'll fancy that I in my sleep have been seeing
A fine little delicate lady-like being,
Whose steps and whose motions so light were and airy,
I knew at one glance that she must be a fairy.
Her eyes they were blue, and her fine curling hair
Of the lightest of browns, her complexion more fair
Than I e'er saw a woman's; and then for her height,
I verily think that she measured not quite
Two feet, yet so justly proportioned withal,
I was almost persuaded to think she was tall.
Her voice was the little thin note of a sprite-
There-d'ye think I have made out a fairy aright?
You'll confess, I believe, I've not done it amiss.'
'Pardon me,' said Matilda, 'I find in all this
Fine description, you've only your young sister Mary
Been taking a copy of here for a fairy.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb was an English essayist, poet, and antiquarian, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, co-authored with his sister, Mary Lamb (1764–1847). Friends with such literary luminaries as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and William Hazlitt, Lamb was at the centre of a major literary circle in England. He has been referred to by E. V. Lucas, his principal biographer, as "the most lovable figure in English literature". more…

All Charles Lamb poems | Charles Lamb Books

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