Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Anna Grenville, Countess Temple Appointed Poet Laureate to the King of the Fairies
By Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford (1717–1797)
 
      BY these presents, be it known
      To all who bend before our throne,
      Fays and Fairies, Elves and Sprites,
      Beauteous Dames and gallant Knights,
      That We, Oberon the Grand,        5
      Emperor of Fairy Land,
      King of Moonshine, Prince of Dreams,
      Lord of Aganippe’s streams,
      Baron of the dimpled isles
      That lie in pretty maiden’s smiles,        10
      Arch-Treasurer of all the graces
      Dispersed through fifty lovely faces,
      Sovereign of the Flipper’s Order
      With all the rites thereon that border,
      Defender of the Sylphic Faith,        15
      Declare—and thus your Monarch saith.
        Whereas there is a noble dame
      Whom mortals, Countess Temple name,
      To whom Ourself didst erst impart
      The choicest secrets of our art,        20
      Taught her to tune th’ harmonious line
      To our own melody divine,
      Taught her the graceful negligence
      Which, scorning Art and veiling Sense,
      Achieves that conquest o’er the heart        25
      Sense seldom gains; and never Art.
        This Lady, ’tis our Royal Will
      Our Laureate’s vacant seat should fill.
      A chaplet of immortal bays
      Shall crown her brows, and guard her Lays.        30
      Of Nectar-Sack an acorn cup
      Be, at her board, each year, filled up.
      And as each Quarter Feast comes round,
      A Silver Penny shall be found
      Within the compass of her shoe;        35
      And so We bid you all, Adieu!
 
Given at our Palace of Cowslip Castle,
    The shortest night of the year.
                        Oberon.
 
 
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