THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE WONDERFUL TUNE                1G9
Never was such a hullabaloo in this world, before or since ; 'twas as if heaven and earth were coming together; and all out of Maurice Connor's wonderful tune!
In the height of all these doings, what should there be dancing among the outlandish set of fishes but a beautiful young woman—as beautiful as the dawn of day ! She had a cocked hat upon her head ; from under it her long green hair—just the colour of the sea—fell down behind, without hindrance to her dancing. Her teeth were like rows of pearls ; her lips for all the world looked like red coral; and she had a shining gown pale green as the hollow of the wave, with little rows of purple and red seaweeds settled out upon it; for you never yet saw a lady, under the water or over the water, who had not a good notion of dressing herself out.
Up she danced at last to Maurice, who was flinging his feet from under him as fast as hops—for nothing in this world could keep still while that tune of his was going on—and says she to him, chanting it out with a voice as sweet as honey :
I'm a lady of honour
Who live in the sea : Come down, Maurice Connor,
And be married to me. Silver plates and gold dishes
You shall have, and shall be The king of the fishes,
When you're married to me.
Drink was strong in Maurice's head, and out he chanted in return for her great civility. It is not every lady, may be, that would be after making such an offer to a blind piper ; therefore 'twas only right in him to give her as good as she gave herself, so says Maurice :
I'm obliged to you, madam :
Off a gold dish or plate, If a king, and I had 'em,
I could dine in great state.
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