|drawing on vellum over map, Suzanne Coley 2014|
A Fairy leapt upon my knee
Singing and dancing merrily;
I said, "Thou thing of patches, rings,
Pins, necklaces, and such-like things,
Disgracer of the female form,
Thou paltry, gilded, poisonous worm!"
Weeping, he fell upon my thigh,
And thus in tears did soft reply:
"Knowest thou not, O Fairies' lord!
How much by us contemn'd, abhorr'd,
Whatever hides the female form
That cannot bear the mortal storm?
Therefore in pity still we give
Our lives to make the female live;
And what would turn into disease
We turn to what will joy and please."
from The Poetical Works of William Blake, p. 127
Oxford University Press