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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Appendix to the Earlier Poems in the Rossetti MS.

A Fairy leapt upon my knee

A FAIRY leapt upon my knee

Singing and dancing merrily;

I said, ‘Thou thing of patches, rings,

Pins, necklaces, and such-like things,

Disgracer of the female form,

Thou paltry, gilded, poisonous worm!’

Weeping, he fell upon my thigh,

And thus in tears did soft reply:

‘Knowest thou not, O Fairies’ lord!

How much by us contemn’d, abhorr’d,

Whatever hides the female form

That cannot bear the mortal storm?

Therefore in pity still we give

Our lives to make the female live;

And what would turn into disease

We turn to what will joy and please.’