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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Queen Mab’s Excursion

By Michael Drayton (1563–1631)

From ‘Nymphidia, the Court of Faery’

HER chariot ready straight is made;

Each thing therein is fitting laid,

That she by nothing might be stay’d,

For naught must her be letting:

Four nimble gnats the horses were,

The harnesses of gossamer,

Fly Cranion, her charioteer,

Upon the coach-box getting.

Her chariot of a snail’s fine shell,

Which for the colors did excel,—

The fair Queen Mab becoming well,

So lively was the limning;

The seat the soft wool of the bee,

The cover (gallantly to see)

The wing of a py’d butterflee,—

I trow, ’twas simple trimming.

The wheels composed of crickets’ bones,

And daintily made for the nonce;

For fear of rattling on the stones,

With thistle-down they shod it:

For all her maidens much did fear,

If Oberon had chanced to hear

That Mab his queen should have been there,

He would not have abode it.

She mounts her chariot with a trice,

Nor would she stay for no advice,

Until her maids, that were so nice,

To wait on her were fitted,

But ran away herself alone;

Which when they heard, there was not one

But hasted after to be gone,

As she had been diswitted.

Hop, and Mop, and Drap so clear,

Pip, and Trip, and Skip, that were

To Mab their sovereign dear,

Her special maids of honor;

Fib, and Tib, and Pinck, and Pin,

Tick, and Quick, and Jill, and Jin,

Tit, and Nit, and Wap, and Win,

The train that wait upon her.

Upon a grasshopper they got,

And what with amble and with trot,

For hedge nor ditch they sparèd not,

But after her they hie them.

A cobweb over them they throw,

To shield the wind if it should blow;

Themselves they wisely could bestow,

Lest any should espy them.