In the summer, when flowers grew everywhere
And butterflies flew through the warm perfumed air
The fairies assembled with hearts light and free
And danced on the green sward beneath this young tree;
'Mid its ever green leaves, when winter came round
All snugly ensconced they could always be found.

Thus the swift passing years flew happily by
As the young oak lifted its head to the sky,
While its limbs grew larger, more sturdy and round
And its trunk with life giving sap did abound:—
Then "Progress" advancing to 'The Fairies Dell"
Brought hither a settler called "Man" to dwell.

And soon 'neath this live oak's far outspreading shade
A small cozy cabin of rough logs was made
While round it on every sunshiny day
The dear little children delighted to play.
To and fro from its branches they loved to swing
And with hearts free from sorrow glad songs to sing.

They loved this good tree and sang songs to it,
Likewise to the fairies, who often would flit
Around their fair heads like the bright butterflies
Being clothed in these forms as a disguise—
For they liked not to show their real fairy selves
To these loving but mischievous earthly elves.

The children, the fairies, and tree were content
And many a glad day together they spent
But the wondrous strides of "Progress" made by men
Came marching on towards the good fairies glen,
Day after day steadily pushing ahead
And leaving behind only stumps of the dead,

Who once were great trees reaching far to the skies
Feeling proud of their foliage and of their size,
In their youth and beauty, breathing God's free air,
They were felled to the ground, left lifeless and bare—
For the beauties of Nature, they dare not stay.
Where the "Geni of Progress" holds right of way.

This new world ruled over by "Nature" so long
From "Civilization" must suffer much wrong;
So many a bird sadly flew through the air,
And searched for its lost home, but found it nowhere—
As broad roads for "Man's" use on all sides were made
By the conquering axe, pick, shovel and spade.

In a short time a new road to our hero came nigh
And the young vigorous tree was doomed to die,
But ere the woodman could deal this cruel stroke
The children pleas hard for the life of their oak;
And, as it scarce narrowed the road by two feet.
It was spared for the sake of the children sweet.

Time passed and these children grew to be men
And their children played in the same fairies' glen,
But ere their grandchildren were aged two times ten
The home of the fairies was changed once again—
As the city of Norfolk with rapid stride
Had surrounded the Fairies on every side.

Then the Queen of these elves and her chosen band
Left their earthly home for the bright fairy land
Far beyond the dark shade of the deep blue skies
That have never been pierced by mortal eyes:
But two faithful fairies still refused to flee
Away from their home in the much beloved tree.

To a busy thoroughfare the meadow soon grew
As the old must ever give way to the new—
And the two lonely fairies no more could play
'Neath the oak as they sang some bright merry lay,
But hid 'mong its branches, hanging o'er the sidewalk
They listened each day to the passers by talk.

Thus they heard tales of joy, of sorrow and pain,
Of lives pure and simple without e'er stain,
And of those, who had known but trouble and strife
Throughout all the years of a brief span of life,
While ardent young lovers, who felt Cupid's darts,
Oft spoke 'neath this tree of the love in their hearts.

And the children of Norfolk came here to play
As their fathers had done with hearts light and gay;
But oft in their games they would pause 'neath this tree
And wish for the chance a real fairy to see,
Or that one of the fairies would bring to them
A lovely new toy, or a book, or a gem.

To the fairies, the children were ever dear
And though in their presence they dare not appear—
In answering wishes they took great delight
For the good girls and boys, who tried to do right:
But to those, who were selfish and cross and bad
They brought nothing more and took what they had.

One day Marguerite, a sweet innocent maid
Sat with a young playmate beneath the oak's shade
And made a good wish that a fairy would bring
For her finger a lovely gold ring.
So that night the fairies to her Auntie told
The little maid's wish for a bright ring of gold.

And the very next day when she "went up street"
She bought a new ring for her dear Marguerite,
Who gave her a kiss and a true childlike squeeze--
Then whispered--"Dear Auntie won't you tell me please
How did you know that above everything
I've wished every day for just such a ring?"

Deep hidden truths often a child will discern
Before their true meaning we elders can learn—
Since close on the border of sweet "Babyland"
Dwells truth plain and simple on every hand.
There all of the natives are free from deceit
And believe that "Love" only makes life complete.

So when Auntie replied—"because of a dream,"
"Rite's" plump rosy face with great pleasure did beam—
"Oh Auntie, I know, yes I'm quite sure its true,
That the kind fairies made my wish known to you
And when I want something for you and for me
I will always go straight to this dear old tree."

"For I'm sure the good fairies are hidden there
In the ever green leaves high up in the air.
Just come with me Auntie and watch these bright leaves
As gently they move in the soft balmy breeze—
When I talk to them, looking up to the sky
It seems that the fairies are very close by."

That night "Rite" told Grandpa, who laughed in great glee
But promised to go with the maid to her tree,
While there make a wish and if it come true
For doubting the fairies their pardon he'd sue
And sing high praises to all of his friends
Thereby for his scoffing to make some amends.

The next day was stormy and cloudy and wet
But true to his promise Grandpa and his pet
Besought the kind fairies, who dwelt in the tree,
Good "Weather Directors" for a time to be
And chase the dark clouds from the earth away
Bringing bright sunshine for the oncoming day.

Sure enough the morrow dawned clear and bright
As the Earth was warmed by the good Sun's light
But Grandpa declared he must make "one more test"
To feel sure that the world with fairies was blest-
So day after day he went to the tree
And took off his hat while he made some good plea.

His great faith in this oak made others believe,
Who often came here, begging gifts to receive,
And for those who had faith in the fairies' might
All of their wishes were answered aright,
But others, who doubted the fairies were there,
Ne'er received an answer to any prayer.

At midnight, when all the world was at rest
And the moonbeams were kissing "Mother Earth's" breast—
To lonely lovers at this solemn hour
The fairies would show their wonderful power
For should a sad lover, his passion confess
'Neath the oak's green leaves he would surely possess—

The girl, whose sweet image he wore on his breast
As the fairies for him would do all the rest
By using their wonderful magical art
To install pure love in her unyielding heart.
They only requested that he would not talk
After making his wish, but silently walk

For a distance of two short blocks from the tree
as proof that a proper mate he would be,
Since "Silence is golden" and the fairies said—
"He who can't hold his tongue is not fit to wed."
(Yet how few of us mortals know that in this
There lies the whole secret of marital bliss.)

This task by the men was quite easily done,
But many maids lost where they might well have won
Their hero's true love--their soul's greatest desire,
But for whose heart and hand they dare not aspire,
Since they could not control their organs of speech,
As the savants for ages have tried to teach.

But the truly wise maidens came by themselves
At this lonely hour to consult the elves
And thus having no one with whom to converse,
They in silence were able Two Blocks to traverse,
And the one, whom they loved always came to woo,
Just as the good fairies had promised he'd do.

Thus before there had passed another year
The maidens loved knight to her would appear
By the fairies his heart with love's fires was fed
And then to the love pining maiden was led.
So in a brief season these two became one,
Who saw not Earth's shadows but only the Sun.

These matches so well by the fairies were planned
That over wild passion, pure love held command
As their souls in each other through love were complete
With hearts ever tuned to that song grand and sweet,
Which makes earthly homes like the bright home above,
Where no strife ever enters, but all is love.

Thus a century passed and the tree still stood,
While fairies for all believers did good,
Bringing peace and joy, and comfort and rest
To home, that dear spot we should all love the best.
By granting good wishes it gained much renown
Likewise as the eldest landmark in town.

But at last "Men of Progress" made the decree
That they must cut down this famous old tree,
Since the kind patriarch could not longer stand
On four feet or more of most valuable land.
So the oak that "Nature" so long had cherished
To make way for "Man" now fell and perished.

E'en though the improvers said—"'Twas a pity
Still room must be made for this fast growing city"
And on the seventh day of this November,
(A day that Norfolk should always remember)
The noble old oak was felled to the ground
And its green leaves and branches strewn all around.

But the wood of the trunk of this sturdy oak
Was so had that the steel of four axes broke
Before one that was strong enough could be found
To bring this great tree with a crash to the ground.
And likewise its far reaching roots were so stout
That the sharp pick and spade could scarcely dig them out.

When the kind fairies heard the first dreadful stroke
Of the cruel axe on their sheltering oak.
They bade their loved home in sorrow farewell
And soon joined their sisters in that flowery dell—
"The Land of Bright Dreams" or "The Good Fairies Glen"
But ne'er will they visit us mortals again.

But though the kind fairies will ne'er come again
From their land that is hidden away from men,
Yet they left us a talisman, which will bless
All those, who are lucky enough to possess
Just a leaf from the dead "Wishing Oak" to kiss,
Which will bring good fortune and conjugal bliss