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The Fairy's Token, from the Harper's


Ethelreda, the Fairy of Northland,
Was singing a song to herself,
As she swung from a wreath of soft snow-flakes,
And smiled to another bright elf.

What token shall we send to our darling,
Our name-child, fair Ethel, below
In the house which is down in the valley
All covered and calm in the snow?

Shall we gather our glorious jewels,
And wind them about her lithe form?
They would glitter and glance in the sunshine,
And merrily gleam in the storm.

Shall we clothe her in whitest of ermine,
And robe her as grand as a queen;
Weave her laces of ice and of frost-work,
A mantle of glistening sheen?

She would shudder and cry at the clasping,
She would moan aloud in her woe,
And think the gay robes had been fashioned
By cruelest, bitterest foe.

I will none of these gifts for my darling,
Neither jewels nor laces rare,
Neither diamonds nor pearls of cold anguish—
My gift shall be tender and fair.

Early Ethel awoke Christmas morning,
And found on her pillow that day
A bunch of bright little snow-drops,
From kind Ethelreda, the Fay!