'The Song of the Holly Fairy' and 'The Song of the Christmas Tree Fairy' by Cicely Mary Barker
Illustration by the poet
The Holly Fairy welcomes the festive season, and then the magic of Christmas brings to life the fairy on the top of the tree, when the children are asleep.
It was only after a lot of thinking, with one spot left to fill, that I remembered Flower Fairies of the Winter. Then once I'd thought of it, I didn't know if it contained any Christmassy poems, or even if I'd find my copy - but I did, and sure enough there was 'The Song of the Christmas Tree Fairy' at the very end. It's short and sweet at three six-line stanzas, not very long for this collection, so I turned to 'The Song of the Holly Fairy' to see if it would do to go with it. The answer is yes, it will. The Holly Fairy hails the coming of December, and boastingly references a certain Christmas carol. Like Beatrix Potter and Joyce Lankester Brisley, Barker began as an artist, and even a total Scrooge could surely see why children were so delighted by her Flower Fairy illustrations.
'And carol-boys go singing clear
'Of all the trees (O hush and hear!)
'The holly bears the crown!'
Cicely Mary Barker, Flower Fairies of the Winter (Blackie and Son Ltd., 1987), no pagination.
'O magic sight, this joyous night!
'O laden, sparkling tree!'
Barker's illustration of the Christmas Tree Fairy, courtesy of flowerfairyprints.com.
Barker's illustration of the Holly Fairy, courtesy of flowerfairyprints.com.