A Compliment Sent to the Fairy Queen


Sir Charles2into3 my chamber coming in
When I was writing of my4 Fairy Queen,
“I pray,” said he, “when Queen Mab you do see,
Present my service to her Majesty,
And tell her I have heard Fame’s loud report,                     5
Both of her beauty and her stately court.”
When I Queen Mab within my fancy viewed,
My thoughts bowed low, fearing I should be rude,
Kissing her garment thin, which fancy made,
Kneeling upon a thought, like one that prayed.                10
And then in5 whispers soft I did present
His humble service, which in mirth was sent.
Thus by imagination I have been
In Fairy Court, and seen the Fairy Queen,
For why imagination runs about                                          15
In every place, yet6 none can trace it out.

  1. In the 1653 edition, this poem is untitled, and is located near the end of the entire volume, among the poems reflecting on her poetic process.
  2. In 1664 and 1668, Cavendish adds a note that reads, “Sir Charles Cavendish, my brother-in-law.” This note does not appear in 1653.
  3. into] unto 1664, 1668
  4. my] the 1664, 1668
  5. And then in] In 1653
  6. yet] but 1664, 1668