by Robert Herrick
SHAPCOT ! to thee the fairy state
I, with discretion, dedicate.
Because thou prizest things that are
Curious and unfamiliar.
Take first the feast ; these dishes gone,
We'll see the fairy court anon.
A LITTLE mushroom table spread,
After short prayers, they set on bread ;
A moon-parch'd grain of purest wheat,
With some small glittering grit to eat
His choice bits with ; then in a trice
They make a feast less great than nice.
But all this while his eye is serv'd,
We must not think his ear was sterv'd ;
But that there was in place to stir
His spleen, the chirring grasshopper,
The merry cricket, puling fly,
The piping gnat for minstrelsy.
And now we must imagine, first,
The elves present, to quench his thirst,
A pure seed-pearl of infant dew
Brought and besweetened in a blue
And pregnant violet ; which done,
His kitling eyes begin to run
Quite through the table, where he spies
The horns of papery butterflies :
Of which he eats, and tastes a little
Of that we call the cuckoo's spittle.
A little fuzz-ball pudding stands
By, yet not blessed by his hands,
That was too coarse ; but then forthwith
He ventures boldly on the pith
Of sugar'd rush, and eats the sagg
And well-bestrutted bee's sweet bag :
Gladdening his pallet with some store
Of emmets' eggs ; what would he more ?
But beards of mice, a newt's stewed thigh,
A bloated earwig and a fly ;
With the red-capp'd worm that's shut
Within the concave of a nut,
Brown as his tooth. A little moth
Late fatten'd in a piece of cloth :
With withered cherries, mandrakes' ears,
Moles' eyes ; to these the slain stag's tears,
The unctuous dewlaps of a snail,
The broke-heart of a nightingale
O'ercome in music ; with a wine
Ne'er ravish'd from the flattering vine,
But gently press'd from the soft side
Of the most sweet and dainty bride,
Brought in a dainty daisy, which
He fully quaffs up to bewitch
His blood to height ; this done, commended
Grace by his priest ; the feast is ended.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 148-150.
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