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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

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,

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,

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,

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,

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

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.

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;

And so We bid you all, Adieu!

Given at our Palace of Cowslip Castle,

The shortest night of the year.