Biography of Rose Fyleman
Rose Amy Fyleman (1877–1957) was an English writer and poet, noted for her works on the fairy folk, for children. Her poem There are fairies at the bottom of our garden was set to music by English composer Liza Lehmann. Her Christmas carol Lift your hidden faces, set to a French carol tune, was included in the Anglican hymnal Songs of Praise (1931) as well as in the Hutterian Brotherhood's Songs of Light (1977).
Rose Fyleman was born in Nottingham on 6 March 1877, the third child of John Feilmann and his wife, Emilie, née Loewenstein, who was of Russian extraction. Her father was in the lace trade, and his Jewish family originated in 1860 from Jever in the historical state of Oldenburg, currently Lower Saxony, Germany.
As a young girl, Fyleman was educated at a private school, and at the age of nine first saw one of her compositions published in a local paper. Although she entered University College, Nottingham, she failed in the intermediate and was thus unable to pursue her ambition of becoming a schoolteacher. Despite this, Fyleman had a good singing voice, and therefore decided to study music. She studied singing in Paris, Berlin and finally at the Royal College of Music in London, where she received her diploma as associate of the Royal College of Music. She returned to Nottingham shortly afterward, where she taught signing and helped in her sister's school. Along with other members of her family, she anglicized the spelling of her name at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
When she was forty, Fyleman sent her verses to Punch magazine and her first publication "There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden" appeared in May 1917. The immense response from publishers prompted Fyleman to submit several other fairy poems. Her verses enjoyed tremendous success among readers and her first collection Fairies and Chimneys (1918) was reprinted more than twenty times over the next decade. During the 1920s and early 1930s Rose Fyleman published multiple verse collections, wrote drama for children, and for two years, edited the children's magazine Merry-Go-Round. Fyleman was also a skilled linguist who translated books from German, French and Italian.
Rose Fyleman was one of the most successful children's writers of her generation and she saw much of her earlier poetry become proverbial. She died at a nursing home in St. Albans, Hertfordshire on 1 August 1957.
Rose Fyleman Poems
I Stood Against The Window
I STOOD against the window And looked between the bars, And there were strings of fairies
I think mice Are rather nice. There tails are long,
I WISH I liked rice pudding, I wish I were a twin, I wish some day a real live fairy Would just come walking in.
THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden! It's not so very, very far away; You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead - I do so hope they've really come to stay.
The Best Game the Fairies Play
The best game the fairies play, The best game of all, Is sliding down steeples—
The Fairy Ball
' I AM asked to the ball to-night, to-night ; What shall I wear, for I must look right ? ' ' Search in the fields for a lady-smock ; Where could you find you a prettier frock ? '
FAIRIES learn to dance before they learn to walk ; Fairies learn to sing before they learn to
As I was walking in the rain I met a fairy down a lane. We walked along the road together, I soon forgot about the weather.
DANCE, little friend, little friend breeze, Low among the hedgerows, high among the trees ; Fairy partners wait for you, oh, do not miss your chance,
PEACOCKS sweep the fairies' rooms; They use their folded tails for brooms; But fairy dust is brighter far
Have You Watched The Fairies?
HAVE you watched the fairies when the rain is done Spreading out their little wings to dry them in the sun?
I Don't Like Beetles
I DON'T like beetles, tho' I'm sure they're very good, I don't like porridge, tho' my Nanna says I should; I don't like the cistern in the attic where I play,
A Strange Pair
THE witch, the witch that lives in the wood Is not very pretty and not very good ; Her face is brown and her eyes are black,
The Fairy Flute
MY brother has a little flute Of gold and ivory, He found it on a summer night
THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead -
I do so hope they've really come to stay.
There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there-
Well, they do.