Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Fairy Godmothers
By Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845–1907)
I THINK the fairies to my christening came;
  But they were wicked sprites and envious elves,
  Who brought me gall, as bitter as themselves,
In tiny tankards wrought with fairy flame.
They wish’d me love of books—each little dame—        5
  With power to read no book upon my shelves;
  Fair limbs for numbness; Dead-Sea fruits by twelves,
And every bitter blessing you can name.
But one good elf there was, and she let fall
  A single drop of Poesy’s wine of gold        10
In every little tankard full of gall.
  So, year by year, as woes and pains grow old,
The little golden drop is in them all;
  But bitterer is the cup than can be told.

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