Random Poem

A Changeling

Original Text
Marjory Nicholls, Collected Poems, comp. Niel Wright (Wellington: Original Books, 2009).
2    And says that I'm a bother,
3'Tis then I run away and hide,
4    Or seek my eldest brother.
6    And strokes my tangled hair,
7While I sit staring at the fire,
8    My head against his chair.
9He reads to me from great big books,
11I seem to roam thro' twisted woods
12    And peer in caverns dim.
13I never am afraid at night,
14    But when the moonbeams fall,
15I hold my frock and dance as light
16    As shadows on the wall.
17I love to watch the glancing fire;
18    It fills me with delight
20    Dance in the window bright.
21They mingle with the snow outside,
22    And make a magic land,
23Where little figures beckon me
24    Curtseying, hand in hand.
25And then I want to run to them,
26    And Nurse begins to scold,
27Saying I'd surely die out there
28    And perish in the cold.
29It's when I hear night-voices call
31That Mother calls me, "changeling-child"
32    And then I run and hide.


1] Changeling: a child believed to have been secretly substituted by the fairies for the parents' true child, usually in infancy. Back to Line
5] elf-child: changeling. Back to Line
10] Hans Andersen and Grimm: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Danish storyteller and fairy-tale writer; Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1785-1863 and 1786-1859), German brothers who were literary scholars and fairy-tale collectors. Back to Line
19] tricksome: full of tricks; mischievous. Back to Line
30] "Folk": the fairies Back to Line
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes
C.C. Review (1919).
RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition