“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Fairy Went A-Marketing

That is the name of the poem and illustration I am sharing with you today. Have you heard this poem before? Well I had not and now I am in love with it. I love the gentle, caring ways of this beautiful little fairy.  As an adult I read this poem and I wonder what I would have thought of it as a child, because reading it now it has a very deep and profound message for me and for all of us.
I think if I had to choose one word to express my thoughts about this poem, 
I would choose the word Compassion.

The name of the book is Poems for Boys and Girls compiled by Marjorie Barrows and illustrated by Lois Maloy.  I am sure you will be seeing many more excerpts from this book in the future, but for now here is the poem. I am including the text in case some of you have trouble reading the print on the image.

A Fairy Went A-Marketing
Rose Fyleman

A Fairy went a-marketing--
She bought a little fish;
She put it in a crystal bowl
Upon a golden dish.
An hour she sat in wonderment
And watched its silver gleam,
And then she gently took it up
And slipped it in a stream.

A fairy went a-marketing--
She bought a colored bird;
It sang the sweetest, shrillest song
That ever she had heard.
She sat beside its painted cage 
And listened half the day,
And then she opened wide the door
And let it fly away.

A fairy went a-marketing--
She bought a winter gown
All stitched about with gossamer
And lined with thistledown.
She wore it all the afternoon
With prancing and delight,
Then gave it to a little frog
To keep him warm at night.

A fairy went a-marketing
She bought a gentle mouse
To take her tiny messages,
To keep her tiny house.
All day she kept its busy feet
Pit-patting to and fro,
And then she kissed its silken ears,
Thanked it, and let it go.


  1. So beautiful and charming, you're right!

  2. How very, very lovely. Yes, compassion, and kindness -- we need so much more of them.

  3. Very sweet and very charming. Yes, the word compassion certainly fits here; something the world needs more of.

  4. Well, my goodness, you know this is right up my alley, right?
    I really love this and I thank you so much for sharing it.
    Compassion, are there any children who are learning the meaning of the word?

    1. Kay...I think most children are born with an inner sense of what is right and what is wrong and the basic feeling of compassion. However without the proper good influences, anyone can go astray. In the media we have too many people held up as being "successful" that have not one ounce of compassion.

  5. What a lovely little poem. Compassion,kindness and consideration - sometimes under-rated but so important.

  6. i see you like fairies too.........I am now following you. Nice post

  7. This is such a lovely poem and you are so right - compassion - something we all need a bit of each day. Thank you so very much for sharing this today.

  8. What a beautiful poem ... thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Hi Diane - I remember this very well. I had it in a book of nursery rhymes when I was small. I've always loved it but felt sorry for the fairy that she did not keep the gown! These illustrations are very pretty.

    1. You are so funny Sharon! You know you could have just draw her an even prettier one!

    2. *drawn* Sorry, Guy is jumping on my hand...

    3. Hi again Diane - I enjoyed this post so much it inspired mine for the week. Its not the same poem - just an association of ideas! I've included a link back to you as the inspiration behind my choice! (Thanks for saying I could draw her a prettier one!)

  10. That is just gorgeous. There is something about it that just touches you. I think it's the way she allows herself to enjoy the beauty of the animals (and dress) before she sets them free. We should allow ourselves to enjoy things as long as it is in others good interests. After all, what is the point of life if there is no enjoyment?

  11. Great point Laura! This poem is from a book published in 1945. If written today we might say she is a compulsive shopper and send her to counseling!

  12. AW..hugs...this made my fairy-heart melt! beautiful..so enchantingly sweet..!! Love it! and the book is fab and the illustrations are gorgeous!
    Thanks so much for sharng this gem!

  13. Beautiful poem, gorgeous illustrations and delightful words. I love that you share them love visiting your blog. keep up the great work.

  14. How very cute! Have a lovely weekend!

  15. I love this poem, but I thought it had only one verse (the last one). I found it in a book illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker and loved it so much I put the verse and picture in the side bar of my blog. Thank you for sharing it. You have some lovely music on your blog today.

  16. this poem is lovely. Have a great weekend.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane