"... become as little children ...." Hitherto unpublished verse for children.


Hold my hand and I'll hold yours
And we'll go dancing to the shores
Of sunlit lands where happy grows
The Trysting tree, beneath which flows
The sunbeam stream where fairies bathe
And ships with sails of breezes take
Cargoes of cares to the secret cave
Where the wisest fairy works to make
Them into new and shining joys
And all the tears of girls and boys
Are made into a necklace for
The loveliest Queen of all that shore.

Beneath the Trysting tree we'll tell
Our dreams into a singing shell
And read the stories of the flowers`
As page on page we turn the hours.
We'll talk as brightly as singing birds
Of things untaught in any school
In a laugh of language gemmed with words
Shaped newly with our twist tongue tool.
We'll eat our fill of fairy food
And drink the wine no grownup could.
Then on a magic spell we'll ride
And see all from the other side.

Whenever you're sad remember we
Can meet beneath the Trysting tree.
Just call my name, you know it well,
It has the sound that none can spell,
And we'll romp again through magic fields
And from our purses, stuffed with stars,
We'll pay for all that dreaming builds,
Those castles in the sky and cars
Drawn swiftly by a lightning streak;
Who knows, perhaps we'll even speak
To that loveliest Queen who proudly wears
The necklace made from pearls of tears.


The last winters day in Blackfordby Lane
I saw in a wood, much plainer than plain,
Twelve fairies dancing around in a ring.
Ever so quietly I asked them to tell
Why they were dancing in a ring, in a ring.
They answered me chanting, ‘it’s a spell, it’s a spell
For twelve fairies to dance in a ring, in a ring
For twelve fairies to dance in a ring!’

Then I heard them start singing, clearer than clear
A song with strange words that was a wonder to hear,
Much sweeter than birds or bells ever sing.
I whispered, ‘please fairies will you not tell
Why you so sing, so beautifully sing?’
They answered me laughing, ‘It’s a spell, it’s a spell
For a ring of twelve fairies to sing, so to sing,
For a ring of twelve fairies to sing!’

Then they flew in a circle and touched the bare trees
And I felt the trees stirring as though a warm breeze
Blew gently as those fairies with their twelve wands
Touched the bare trees. So I called, ‘wont you tell
Why you stir the bare trees with your wands, with your wands?’
They chanted their magic, ‘It’s a spell, it’s a spell
That we’ve put on the trees with our wands, with our wands,
That we’ve put on the trees with our wands!’

Then I saw them fly far away in the sky,
Much further can the sight of your eye.
Sadly I sat in the fairy made ring
And cried to the trees, ‘Please can you not tell
Why those fairies danced in a ring, in a ring?’
A little bud answered, ‘It’s a spell, it’s a spell
Made by twelve fairies each year to bring Spring, to bring Spring,
Made by twelve fairies each year to bring Spring!’


When you are sleeping
The fairies come peeping
Around your sleeping head.
From where you are lying
They take you by flying
To the land of Singinglysaid.

And there on alighting
You'll be given in writing
Rules that cannot be read
And it's no good you trying
For they're not applying
Rules in Singinglysaid.

There you'll go laughing
To washing and bathing
In water that's blue and red.
And when you go walking
Your toes will start talking
To the flowers of Singinglysaid.

And there when you're singing
The bluebells start ringing
While the trees clap their hands overhead.
And each hour you'll be humming
To the dancing days drumming
Out tunes of Singinglysaid.

Till when the sun's rising
There's nothing surprising
Can't happen in Singinglysaid.
But when you are waking
The fairies are taking
You home from Singinglysaid.

That's why you wake singing
Though fairies are winging
Away from your dreaming bed.
But again when you're sleeping
The fairies will come peeping
And take you to Singinglysaid.