As summer approaches and the nights grow longer it is approaching the time when in the secluded combes of Dartmoor the nightly Piskie Revels take place. There amongst the purple heather and the crackling gorse the little folk dance and prance the night away. Often, as the evening breeze floats across the moorland valleys you can hear the feint sound of harps and pipes plucking and a blowing a merry tune. If you quietly creep towards the sound you just might be lucky enough to see …
PIXY – LAND
E CAPERN – 1881
Sungleams and Shadows
The Pixies are a happy band,
And live right merrily,
And only in a pleasant land
Are they content to be.
Hence, oft their footprints may be seen
Amongst the heather tall;-
For there the little folk in green
Will hold their festival.
And those familiar with they ways,
And pretty elfin tricks,
In June may see the merry fays
With fiddlers fifty six,
And often find their parasols
Left on the fairy green,
Brought there from sunny primrose knolls
In Pixy copses seen.
Down in yon meadow by the stream,
The dapper folk resort;
And while we weary mortals dream
They hold their royal court.
Blithe Killdare the pixy king;
Fair Brighteye is his Queen;
And round them on a mushroom ring
The aristoes are seen.
Some quaffing from sweet lily bells
Deep draughts of honey dew;
And others working mischief spells
In evil hood o’ blue.
And one on a bright dragonfly
Is riding, the bold knight
Of little Goldenwing, the shy
His love and sole delight.
Now tripping o’er the shaven green,
A host of ladies go,
Attending on the pixy Queen,
A right brave royal show,-
Safe guarded by a thousand fays,
All bearing thistle-spears,
With plumes of kingfishers and jays,
And moorhens, on the meres,
To deck their helmets, which are made
Of golden beetle’s wings;
And, for a dirk, each has a blade
Of swordgrass from the springs.
And now the herald blows amain
His honeysuckle horn,
To summon all the fairy train
To feast before the morn:
When to an islet upon the wave
The merry elves repair;
King, Queen, bold knight and baron brave,
And lonely ladies fair.
Where by a glowworm’s tiny light,
Upon a mossy floor,
For table, stand a mushroom white
Midst pixy stools, a store;
With silvery lichens for their plate,
And golden ones also,
And daisy dishes laid in state
With mint and minnow’s roe.
There, having feasted full and well
Within their fairy bower,
They sip rose-nectar from a shell
Until the dawning hour;
When Robin Goodfellow drops in,
And Puck with his halloo,
And Plague o’ Dreams, as owls begin
To hoot their weird tuwhoo.
At which the merry fiddlers play
Their last tune for the night,
And dancing merrily away
All vanish out of sight.
When soon is heard the cuckoo’s rote,
And then the blackbirds song,
And then the skylark’s merry note,
And next the thrush’s tongue;
But maids out ere the sun doth rise
That morn are pixy-led,
While many a little changling lies
A stranger to its bed.