Queen Mab

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Queen Mab is described as being tiny, about the size of an agate stone, and travels in a coach led by insects. She has also been described as a tiny flower fairy or as a trickster pixie like figure, robbing dairies and stealing babies.

Mab first appeared in post sixteenth century English literature, in the poems Nimphidia, and Entertainment at Althorpe by Ben Jonson. The origin of Queen Mab is most likely Celtic, either from Mabb of Welsh Mythology or Maeve (Maebhe) of the Cuchullain tales. 19th century the poet Shelley wrote a long poem entitled Queen Mab. In this Mab describes herself thus: see opposite.

Queen Mab is brought to life through the film Merlin, the film brings to life these myths and legions.

In “Merlin”, as Christianity spreads over Britain, the power of the fairy goddess Queen Mab is waning, and her world of magic faces imminent extinction. While her sister, the Lady of the Lake accepts the inevitable, Queen Mab chooses to resist. She decides to create a half human, half magic being, a wizard, that she believes will bring people back to the "Old Ways".

Here are a couple of clips.


   I am the Fairy Mab: to me 'tis given
  The wonders of the human world to keep;
  The secrets of the immeasurable past,
   In the unfailing consciences of men,
  Those stern, unflattering chroniclers, I find;
  The future, from the causes which arise
   In each event, I gather; not the sting
  Which retributive memory implants
  In the hard bosom of the selfish man,
  Nor that ecstatic and exulting throb
  Which virtue's votary feels when he sums up
  The thoughts and actions of a well-spent day,
  Are unforeseen, unregistered by me;
  And it is yet permitted me to rend
  The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit,
  Clothed in its changeless purity, may know
  How soonest to accomplish the great end
  For which it hath its being, and may taste
  That peace which in the end all life will share.
  This is the meed of virtue; happy Soul,
  Ascend the car with me!'