"Then to the Spicy Nut brown Ale
With Stories told of many a
Treat How Fairy Mab the junkets eat
She was pinchd & pulld she said
And he by Friars Lantern led
Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat
To earn his Cream Bowl duly set
When in one Night e'er glimpse of
Morn His shadowy Flail had threshd the Corn
That ten day labourers could not end
Then crop-full out of door he flings
E'er the first Cock his Matin rings"
"The Goblin crop full flings out of doors from his Laborious task dropping his Flail & Cream bowl. yawning & stretching vanishes into the Sky. In which is seen Queen Mab Eating the Junkets. The Sports of the Fairies are seen thro the Cottage where "She" lays in Bed "pinchd & pulld" by Fairies as they dance on the Bed the Cieling & the Floor & a Ghost pulls the Bed Clothes at her Feet. "He" is seen following the Friars Lantern towards the Convent"
Apparently Milton and Blake were not averse to communicating with fairies, goblins and other occupants to the spirit world of nature. Blake gives this account of his receiving Europe a Prophesy by dictation by a fairy. But apparently Fairies, Nymphs, Gnomes & Genii do not belong to the Eternal world but to the world of generation. They interact with humans but unlike humans are not capable of regeneration. Each of the Zoas is associated with a class of Elemental Spirit: Luvah with genii, Urizen with fairies, Tharmas with nymphs, Urthona with gnomes (Damon, Page 277). Goblins are another class of spirits who are noted for being both mischievous and helpful.
Europe, Plate iii, (E 60) "Five windows light the cavern'd Man; thro' one he breathes the air; Thro' one, hears music of the spheres; thro' one, the eternal vine Flourishes, that he may recieve the grapes; thro' one can look. And see small portions of the eternal world that ever groweth; Thro' one, himself pass out what time he please, but he will not; For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant. So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak'd Tulip, Thinking none saw him: when he ceas'd I started from the trees! And caught him in my hat as boys knock down a butterfly. How know you this said I small Sir? where did you learn this song? Seeing himself in my possession thus he answered me: My master, I am yours. command me, for I must obey. Then tell me, what is the material world, and is it dead? He laughing answer'd: I will write a book on leaves of flowers, If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so when I am tipsie, I'll sing to you to this soft lute; and shew you all alive The world, when every particle of dust breathes forth its joy. I took him home in my warm bosom: as we went along Wild flowers I gatherd; & he shew'd me each eternal flower: He laugh'd aloud to see them whimper because they were pluck'd. They hover'd round me like a cloud of incense: when I came Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write: My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE."
Milton, Plate 31 , (E 130) "And all the Living Creatures of the Four Elements, wail'd With bitter wailing: these in the aggregate are named Satan And Rahab: they know not of Regeneration, but only of Generation The Fairies, Nymphs, Gnomes & Genii of the Four Elements Unforgiving & unalterable: these cannot be Regenerated But must be Created, for they know only of Generation These are the Gods of the Kingdoms of the Earth: in contrarious And cruel opposition: Element against Element, opposed in War Not Mental, as the Wars of Eternity, but a Corporeal Strife" Jerusalem, Plate 32 , (E 178) "And the Four Zoa's who are the Four Eternal Senses of Man Became Four Elements separating from the Limbs of Albion These are their names in the Vegetative Generation [West Weighing East & North dividing Generation South bounding] And Accident & Chance were found hidden in Length Bredth & Highth And they divided into Four ravening deathlike Forms Fairies & Genii & Nymphs & Gnomes of the Elements. These are States Permanently Fixed by the Divine Power" Songs and Ballads, (E 481) [A Separate Manuscript] "A fairy skipd upon my knee Singing & dancing merrily I said Thou thing of patches rings Pins Necklaces & such like things Disguiser of the Female Form Thou paltry gilded poisnous worm Weeping he fell upon my thigh And thus in tears did soft reply Knowest thou not O Fairies Lord How much by us Contemnd Abhorrd Whatever hides the Female form That cannot bear the Mental storm Therefore in Pity still we give Our lives to make the Female live And what would turn into disease We turn to what will joy & please" Descriptive Catalogue, (E 535) "By way of illustration, I instance Shakspeare's Witches in Macbeth. Those who dress [P 17] them for the stage, consider them as wretched old women, and not as Shakspeare intended, the Goddesses of Destiny; this shews how Chaucer has been misunderstood in his sublime work. Shakspeare's Fairies also are the rulers of the vegetable world, and so are Chaucer's; let them be so considered, and then the poet will be understood, and not else."