Ballad of the Fairy Spoon by Laura E. Richards poem

The little wee baby came tripping
All out of the fairy land,
With a nosegay of fairy flowers
Clasped close in each little wee hand;
The flower of baby beauty,
The flower of baby health,
And all the blossomy sweetness
That makes up a baby's wealth.
But still he kept sighing and sobbing,
Sighing and sobbing away,
Till I said, "Now what ails my Baby,
And why does he cry all day?"
And he answered, "Oh! as I came tripping,
I spied a rose by the way:
And on it the loveliest dewdrop
I'd seen since I came away.
"But as I was stooping to sip it,
A wind came up from the south;
And it blew my little wee spoonie
Away from my little wee mouth."

"And what was your little wee spoonie?
And what does my Baby mean?"
"Oh! the little wee fairy spoonie
That was given me by the queen.
"For whenever a baby leaves her,
The queen she grants him a boon,—
She fills both his hands with flowers,
And puts in his mouth a spoon.
"And some are made of the hazel,
And some are made of the horn;
And some are made of the silver white,
For the good-luck babes that are born."
"But what are they for, my Baby?"
"Nay! that part I cannot tell!
But send for the fairy Spoonman,
For he knows it all right well.
"Oh! the little old fairy Spoonman,
He lives in the white, white moon.
Send a whisper up by a moonbeam,
And he will be down here soon."
Then I whispered along a moonbeam
That silvered the grass so clear,
"Oh! little old fairy Spoonman,
Come down and comfort my dear!"
Then something came sliding, sliding
Down out of the white, white moon.
And something came gliding, gliding
Straight in at my window soon.
And there stood a little old fairy,
All bent and withered and black,
With a leathern apron about him,
And a bundle of spoons at his back.
And first he looked at my baby,
And then he looked at me;
And then he looked at his apron,
But never a word spake he.
"Oh! Spoonman dear," said the baby,
"The wind blew my spoon away.
So now will you give me another,
You little black Spoonman, pray?
"For I did not lose my spoonie,
Nor drop it carelessly;
But a wind came up to my poor little mouth,
And blew it away from me."
"Now well for you," said the Spoonman,
"Little Baby, if this be so.
For if you had carelessly lost your spoon,
Without it through life you'd go.
"And well for you, little Baby,
If you know your spoon again.
For but if you know the very same one,
Your asking will be in vain.
"So say: was it made of the hazel,
Or was it made of the horn,
Or was it made of the silver white,
If a good-luck babe you were born?"
"Oh! it was nor horn nor hazel,
But all of the silver bright;
For a good-luck babe I was born indeed,
To be my Mammy's delight."
"Then take your spoon, little Baby,
With the fairies' blessing free,
For the south wind blew it around the world,
And blew it again to me."
With that he gave to my baby
The tiniest silver spoon.
Then out he slipped in the moonlight,
And we lost him from sight right soon.
Now some may think I am foolish,
And some may think I am mad;
But never once since that very night
Has my baby been cross or sad.
And I counsel all anxious mothers
Whose babies are crying in pain,
To send for the fairy Spoonman,
And get them their spoons again.