The Great War

from The Poems of Robert W. Sterling, an electronic edition

Prologue to a Children's Play

Spoken By Fairy

THE golden deities of legend old

Have passed away. No more the hero bold

Holds free discourse with Gods and Goddesses;

And Nymph and Satyr 'mid the shady trees

No more do revel in a lonely vale;

Nor Pan's wild music grace the sylvan tale.

But yet to-day our authoress has made

The fairy brood inhabit still the glade.

The tinkling bells of fairyland do sound

As from a distance, and the country round

Is subject still unto their gentle sway.

My name is Starlight, and in this our play

I am the fairy Good who helps the Weak

Against foul-gotten Strength, 'tis I who seek

To foster Justice and to make the Right

Triumph o'er Evil in the well-fought fight.

This is the very essence of the play

That we present to you, O maidens gay.

And you, O gallant youths, and last of all

(And also least) to you, O puppy small.

1909.