The leading poem in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s collection Once Upon a Time and Other Child-Verses, illustrated by Etheldred B. Barry, (1897). Other Freeman poems we feature: The Brownie’s Xmas and The Christmas Ball. Bring on the fairies!
Once Upon a Time preface
ONCE UPON A TIME
NOW, once upon a time, a nest of fairies
Was in a meadow ‘neath a wild rose-
And, once upon a time, the violets clustered
So thick around it one could scarcely see;
And, once upon a time, a troop of children
Came dancing by upon the flowery ground;
And, once upon a time, the nest of fairies,
With shouts of joy and wonderment they
And, once upon a time, the fairies fluttered
On purple winglets, shimmering in the sun;
And, once upon a time, the nest forsaking,
They flew off thro’ the violets, every one;
And, once upon a time, the children followed
With loud halloos along the meadow green;
And, once upon a time, the fairies vanished,
And never more could one of them be seen;
And, once upon a time, the children sought
For many a day, but fruitless was their quest,
For, once upon a time, amid the violets,
They only found the fairies’ empty nest.
Once Upon a Time chasing fairies
THE SICK FAIRY
BREW some tea o’ cowslips, make some
Serve it in a buttercup—ah, ’tis very cruel,
That she is so ailing, pretty Violetta!
Locust, stop your violin, till she’s feeling better.