Falstaff and the fairies
Language: English 
Available translation(s): DUT
Round about in a fair ring-a,
Thus we dance and thus we sing-a,
Trip and go, to and fro, over this green-a
All about, in and out over this green-a.
Fairies black, grey, green and white
You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
But till 't is one o' clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter let us not forget.
Lock hand in hand, yourselves in order set,
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be
to guide our measure round about the tree.
But stay! I smell a man of middle earth.
Vile worm, thou wast o'erlooked even in thy birth.
Corrupt, corrupt and tainted with desire!
A trial, come, come, will this wood take fire?
About him, fairies, sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you sing, pinch him to your time.
Pinch him pinch him black and blue,
Saucy mortals must not view
What the Queen of stars is doing,
Nor pry into our fairy wooing.
Pinch him blue, and pinch him black
Let him not lack, let him not lack
Sharp nails to pinch him blue and red
Till sleep has rocked his addle head,
Pinch him fairies, mutually,
Pinch him for his villainy.
Pinch him and burn him and turn him about,
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.

An amalgam of texts by Shakespeare (Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V, Scene 5), Ravenscroft's The elves' dance, and Lyly's Fairy revels.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , title 1: "Falstaff en de feeén", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Pauline Kroger

This text was added to the website: 2009-11-16
Line count: 32
Word count: 231