The Rescue of the Princess Winsome: A Fairy Play for Old and Young by Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows)

Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)

[Transcriber's Note: The songs in this book were set with the lyrics interlinear with the sheet music. These have been put into lyric form in the text for legibility.]


_of the_




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_Author of "The Little Colonel Series," "Big Brother," "Joel: A Boy of Galilee," "In the Desert of Waiting," etc._




_Copyright, 1902_ BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

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_Copyright, 1908_ BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

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_All rights reserved_

First Impression, August, 1908


_Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co._ _Boston, U.S.A._


The Princess Winsome, the part taken by the "Little Colonel" in the play called "The Rescue of Princess Winsome" in "The Little Colonel's Hero," has shared the popularity of the creator of the rôle.

Appealing to children because of its association with their favorite heroine, and to their parents because of its high moral tone and the beauty of its lines, the play has found great favor among children's clubs for their private theatricals, in many cases rivalling the success of the "Little Colonel" and her friends in obtaining funds for charitable purposes.

In response to repeated requests, the publishers are glad to present the play in separate form, making it more easily accessible to young amateur actors and actresses.



King Rob Moore.

Queen Allison Walton.

Prince Hero Keith MacIntyre.


Knight Malcolm MacIntyre.

Ogre Joe Clark.

Witch Kitty Walton.

Godmother Elizabeth Loyd Lewis.

Frog-eye Fearsome Ranald Walton.

Titania Elise Walton.

Bewitched Prince. HERO, the RED CROSS DOG

Chorus of Fairies.

{ Morning-glory. { Pansy. { Rose. Flower Messengers { Forget-me-not. { Poppy. { Daisy.



SCENE I. In the Witch's Orchard. Frog-eye Fearsome drags the captive Prince and Princess to the Ogre's tower. At Ogre's command Witch brews spell to change Prince Hero into a dog.

SCENE II. In front of Witch's Orchard. King and Queen bewail their loss. The Godmother of Princess promises aid. The Knight starts in quest of the South Wind's silver flute with which to summon the Fairies to his help.


SCENE I. In the Tower Room. PRINCESS WINSOME and HERO. Godmother brings spinning-wheel on which Princess is to spin Love's golden thread that shall rescue her brother. Dove comes with letter from Knight. Flower messengers in turn report his progress. Counting the Daisy's petals the Princess learns that her true Knight has found the flute.


SCENE I. In Witch's Orchard. Knight returns from quest. Blows the flute and summons Titania and her train. They bind the Ogre and Witch in the golden thread the Princess spun. Knight demands the spell that binds the Prince and plucks the seven golden plums from the silver apple-tree. Prince becomes a prince again, and King gives the Knight the hand of the Princess and half of his Kingdom. Chorus of Fairies.



SCENE I. _Witch bends over fire in middle of orchard, brewing a charm in her caldron. Ogre stalks in, grinning frightfully, swinging his bludgeon in triumph_.


Ha, old witch, it is done at last! I have broken the King's stronghold! I have stolen away his children twain From the clutch of their guardsmen bold. I have dragged them here to my castle tower. Prince Hero is strong and fair. But he and his sister shall rue my power, When once up yon winding stair.


Now why didst thou plot such a wicked thing? The children no harm have done.


But I have a grudge 'gainst their father, the King, A grudge that is old as the sun. And hark ye, old hag, I must have thy aid Before the new moon be risen. Now brew me a charm in thy caldron black, That shall keep them fast in their prison!


I'll brew thee no charm, thou Ogre dread! Knowest thou not full well The Princess thou hast stolen away Is guarded by Fairy spell? Her godmother over her cradle bent. "O Princess Winsome," she said, "I give thee this gift: thou shalt deftly spin, As thou wishest, Love's golden thread." So I dare not brew thee a spell 'gainst her. My caldron would grow acold And never again would bubble up, If touched by her thread of gold.


Then give me a charm to bind the prince. Thou canst do that much at least. I'll give thee more gold than hands can hold, If thou'lt change him into some beast.


I have need of gold--so on the fire I'll pile my fagots higher and higher, And in the bubbling water stir This hank of hair, this patch of fur This feather and this flapping fin, This claw, this bone, this dried snake skin! Bubble and boil And snake skin coil, This charm shall all plans But the Ogre's foil.

[_As Witch stirs and sings, the Ogre, stalking to the side, calls._


Ho, Frog-eye Fearsome, let the sport begin! Hence to the tower! Drag the captives in!

[_Frog-eye Fearsome drags Prince Hero and Princess Winsome across the stage, and into the door leading up the tower stair. They are bound by ropes. Prince tries to reach his sword. Princess shrieks._


Oh, save us, good, wise witch, In pity, save us, pray. The King, our royal father, Thy goodness will repay.

[_Pulls back, wringing hand._

Oh, I cannot, _cannot_ mount the tower! Oh, save us from the bloody Ogre's power!

[_They are dragged into the tower, door bangs and Ogre locks it with key a yard long. Goes back to Witch, who hands him vial filled from caldron with black mixture._


Pour drop by drop upon Prince Hero's tongue. First he will bark. His hands and feet Will turn to paws, and he will seem a dog. Seven drops will make the change complete. The poison has no antidote save one, And he a prince again can never be, Unless seven silver plums he eats, Plucked from my golden apple-tree.


Revenge is sweet, And soon 'twill be complete! Then to my den I'll haste for gold to delve. I'll bring it at the black, bleak hour of twelve!


And I upon my broomstick now must fly To woodland tryst. Come, Hornèd Owl And Venomed Toad! Now play the spy! Let no one through my orchard prowl.

[_Exit Witch and Ogre to dirge music._

SCENE II. _Enter King and Queen weeping. They pace up and down, wringing hands, and showing great signs of grief. Godmother enters from opposite side. King speaks._


Good dame, Godmother of our daughter dear, Perhaps thou'st heard our tale of woe. Our children twain are stolen away By Ogre Grim, mine ancient foe.

All up and down the land we've sought For help to break into his tower. And now, our searching all for nought, We've come to beg the Witch's power.

[_Godmother springs forward, finger to lip, and anxiously waves them away from orchard._


Nay! Nay! Your Majesty, go not Within that orchard, now I pray! The Witch and Ogre are in league. They've wrought you fearful harm this day. She brewed a draught to change the prince Into a dog! Oh, woe is me! I passed the tower and heard him bark: Alack! That I must tell it thee!

[_Queen shrieks and falls back in the King's arms, then recovering falls to wailing._


My noble son a _dog_? A _beast_? It cannot, must not, _shall_ not be! I'll brave the Ogre in his den, And plead upon my bended knee!


Thou couldst not touch his heart of stone. He'd keep _thee_ captive in his lair. The Princess Winsome can alone Remove the cause of thy despair. And I unto the tower will climb, And ere is gone the sunset's red, Shall bid her spin a counter charm-- A skein of Love's own Golden Thread. Take heart, O mother Queen! Be brave! Take heart, O gracious King, I pray! Well can she spin Love's Golden Thread, And Love can _always_ find a way!

[_Exit Godmother._


She's gone, good dame. But what if she Has made mistake, and thread of gold Is not enough to draw our son From out the Ogre's cruel hold? Canst think of nought, your Majesty? Of nothing else? Must we stand here And powerless lift no hand to speed The rescue of our children dear?

[_King clasps hand to his head in thought, then starts forward._


I have it now! This hour I'll send Swift heralds through my wide domains, To say the knight who rescues them Shall wed the Princess for his pains.


Quick! Let us fly! I hear the sound of feet, As if some horseman were approaching nigher. 'Twould not be seemly should he meet Our royal selves so near the Witch's fire.

[_They start to run, but are met by Knight on horseback in centre of stage. He dismounts and drops to one knee._


Tis Feal the Faithful! Rise, Sir Knight, And tell us what thou doest here!


O Sire, I know your children's plight. I go to ease your royal fear.


Now if thou bringst them back to us, A thousand blessings on thy head.


Ay, half my kingdom shall be thine. The Princess Winsome thou shalt wed.


But tell us, how dost thou think to cope With the Ogre so dread and grim? What is the charm that bids thee hope Thou canst rout and vanquish him?


My faithful heart is my only charm, But my good broadsword is keen, And love for the princess nerves my arm With the strength of ten, I ween. Come weal, come woe, no knight can fail Who goes at Love's behest. Long ere one moon shall wax and wane, I shall be back from my quest. I have only to find the South Wind's flute. In the Land of Summer it lies. It can awaken the echoes mute, With answering replies. And it can summon the fairy folk Who never have said me nay. They'll come to my aid at the flute's clear call. Love _always_ can find a way.


Go, Feal the Faithful. It is well! Successful mayst thou be, And all the way that thou dost ride, Our blessings follow thee.



SCENE. _Room in Ogre's tower. Princess Winsome kneeling with arm around Dog's neck._


_Art_ thou my brother? Can it be That thou hast taken such shape? Oh turn those sad eyes not on me! There _must_ be some escape. And yet our parents think us dead. No doubt they weep this very hour, For no one ever has escaped, Ere this, the Ogre's power. Oh cruel fate! We can but die! Each moment seems a week. _Is_ there no hope? Oh, Hero dear, If thou couldst only speak! But no! Within this tower room We're captive, and despair Must settle on us. 'Tis the doom Of all dragged up yon winding stair.

[_Drops her head and weeps. Enter Godmother, who waves wand and throwing back curtain, displays a spinning-wheel._


Rise, Princess Winsome, Dry your weeping eyes. The way of escape Within your own hand lies.

Waste no time in sorrow, Spin and sing instead. Spin for thy brother's sake, A skein of golden thread.

Question not the future, Mourn not the past, But keep thy wheel a-turning, Spinning well and fast.

All the world helps gladly Those who help themselves, And the thread thou spinnest, Shall be woven by elves.

All good things shall speed thee! Thy knight, the Faithful Feal, Is to thy rescue riding. Up! To thy spinning-wheel!

[_Disappears behind curtain._


All good things shall speed me? Sir Knight, the Faithful Feal, Is to my rescue riding?

[_In joyful surprise._

Turn, turn, my spinning-wheel!

(_She sings._)

_Spinning Wheel Song_

[Illustration: Spinning Wheel Song]

1. My godmother bids me spin, that my heart may not be sad. Spin and sing for my brother's sake, and the spinning makes me glad.

2. Spin, sing with humming whir, the wheel goes round and round. For my brother's sake, the charm I'll break, Prince Hero shall be found.

Spin, sing, the golden thread, Gleams in the sun's bright ray, The humming wheel my grief can heal, For love will find a way.

[_Pauses with uplifted hand._

What's that at my casement tapping? Some messenger, maybe. Pause, good wheel, in thy turning, While I look out and see.

[_Opens casement and leans out, as if welcoming a carrier dove, which may be concealed in basket outside window._

Little white dove, from my faithful knight, Dost thou bring a message to me? Little white dove with the white, white breast, What may that message be?

[_Finds note, tied to wing._

Here is his letter. Ah, well-a-day! I'll open it now, and read. Little carrier dove, with fluttering heart, I'm a happy maiden, indeed. (_She reads._) "O Princess fair, in the Ogre's tower, In the far-off Summer-land I seek the South Wind's silver flute, To summon a fairy band. Now send me a token by the dove That thou hast read my note. Send me the little heart of gold From the chain about thy throat. And I shall bind it upon my shield, My talisman there to stay. And then all foes to me must yield, For Love will find the way.

Here is set the hand and seal Of thy own true knight, the faithful--Feal."

[_Princess takes locket from throat and winds chain around dove's neck._

_Princess sings_

_The Dove Song_

[Illustration: The Dove Song]

Now, flutter and fly, flutter and fly, Bear him my heart of gold, Bid him be brave little carrier dove! Bid him be brave and bold!

Tell him that I at my spinning wheel, Will sing while it turns and hums, And think all day of his love so leal, Until with the flute he comes.

Now fly, flutter and fly, Now flutter and fly away, away.

[_Sets dove at liberty. Turning to wheel again, repeats song._

_Princess repeats_

My Godmother bids me spin, That my heart may not be sad; Spin and sing for my brother's sake, And the spinning makes me glad.

Sing! Spin! With hum and whir The wheel goes round and round. For my brother's sake the charm I'll break! Prince Hero shall be found.

Spin! Sing! The golden thread Gleams in the sunlight's ray! The humming wheel my grief can heal, For Love will find a way.

[_First messenger appears at window, dressed as a Morning-glory._


Fair Princess, This morning, when the early dawn Was flushing all the sky, Beside the trellis where I bloomed, A knight rode slowly by.

He stopped and plucked me from my stem, And said, "Sweet Morning-glory, Be thou my messenger to-day, And carry back my story.

"Go bid the Princess in the tower Forget all thought of sorrow. Her true knight will return to her With joy, on some glad morrow."


_Princess sings_

Spin! spin! The golden thread Holds no thought of sorrow. My true knight he shall come to me With joy on some glad morrow.

[_Second flower messenger, dressed as Pansy, appears at window._


Gracious Princess, I come from Feal the Faithful. He plucked me from my bower, And said, speed to the Princess And say, "Like this sweet flower The thoughts within my bosom Bloom ever, love, of thee. Oh, read the pansy's message, And give a thought to me."

[_Pansy disappears._

_Princess sings_

Spin, spin, O golden thread! And turn, O humming wheel. This pansy is his thought of me, My true knight, brave and leal.

[_Third flower messenger, a pink Rose._


Thy true knight battled for thee to-day, On a fierce and bloody field, But he won at last in the hot affray, By the heart of gold on his shield.

He saw me blushing beside a wall, My petals pink in the sun With pleasure, because such a valiant knight The hard-fought battle had won.

And he kissed me once on my soft pink cheek, And once in my heart of gold, And bade me hasten to thee and speak. Pray take the message I hold.

[_Princess goes to the window, takes a pink rose from the messenger. As she walks back, kisses it and fastens it on her dress. Then turns to wheel again._

_Princess sings_

Spin, spin, O golden thread, And turn, O happy wheel. The pink rose brought in its heart of gold A kiss, his love to seal.

[_Fourth messenger, a Forget-me-not._


Fair Princess, Down by the brook, when the sun was low, A brave knight paused to slake His thirst in the water's silver flow, As he journeyed far for thy sake.

He saw me bending above the stream, And he said, "Oh, happy spot! Ye show me the Princess Winsome's eyes In each blue forget-me-not." He bade me bring you my name to hide In your heart of hearts for ever, And say as long as its blooms are blue, No power true hearts can sever.

_Princess sings_

Spin, spin, O golden thread. O wheel, my happy lot It is to hide within my heart That name, forget-me-not.

[_Fifth messenger, a Poppy._


Dear Princess Winsome, Within the shade of a forest glade He laid him down to sleep, And I, the Poppy, kept faithful guard That it might be sweet and deep. But oft in his dreams he stirred and spoke, And thy name was on his tongue, And I learned his secret ere he woke, When the fair new day was young. And this is what he, whispering, said, As he journeyed on in his way: "Bear her my dreams in your chalice red, For I dream of her night and day."

_Princess sings_

Spin, spin, O golden thread. He dreams of me night and day! The poppy's chalice is sweet and red. Oh, Love will find a way!

[_Sixth messenger, a Daisy_.


O Princess fair, Far on the edge of the Summer-land I stood with my face to the sun, And the brave knight counted with strong hand My petals, one by one.

And he said, "O Daisy, white and gold, The princess must count them too. By thy petals shall she be told If my long, far quest is through.

"Whether or not her knight has found The South Wind's flute that he sought." So over the hills from the Summer-land, Your true knight's token I've brought.

[_Gives Princess a large artificial daisy. She counts petals, slowly dropping them one by one_.


Far on the edge of the Summer-land, O Daisy, white and gold, My true love held you in his hand. What was the word he told?

He's found it. Found it not. Found it. Found it not.

That magic flute of the South Wind, sweet, Will he blow it, over the lea? Will the fairy folk its call repeat, And hasten to rescue me?

He's found it, found it not. Found it, found it not. Found it, found it not. He's _found_ it!

[_Turning to the dog._

Come, Hero! Hear me, brother mine; Thy gladness must indeed be mute, But oh, the joy! We're saved! We're saved! My knight has found the silver flute!


"_Spin, Wheel, Reel Out Thy Golden Thread_"

[Illustration: Spin, Wheel, Reel Out Thy Golden Thread]

Spin, wheel, reel out thy golden thread, My happy heart sings glad and gay,... Hero shall 'scape the Ogre dread, And I my own true love shall wed, For love has found a way, For love has found a way.



SCENE. _In front of Witch's Orchard. Knight comes riding by, blows flute softly under the tower window. Princess leans out and waves her hand. Knight dismounts, and little page takes horse, leading it off stage._


Lean out of thy window, O Princess fair, Rescuers now are at hand. Thou shalt be led down the winding stair By the Queen of the Fairy band.

Listen, as low on the South Wind's flute I call the elves to our tryst. Down rainbow bubbles they softly float, Light-winged as stars in a mist.

[_He blows a flute, and from every direction the Fairies come floating in, their gauzy wings spangled, and each one carrying a toy balloon, attached to a string. They trip back and forth, their balloons bobbing up and down like rainbow bubbles, singing._

_Fairy Chorus_

[Illustration: Fairy Chorus]

We come, we come at thy call, On rainbow bubbles we float. We fairies, one and all, Have answer'd the wind flute's note.

1. The south wind's silver flute, From the far-off summer land, It bade us hasten here, To lend a helping hand. It bade us hasten, hasten here, To lend a helping hand.

2. To the aid of the gallant knight, To the help of the princess fair, To the rescue of the prince, We come to the Ogre's lair. To the rescue of the prince, We come to the Ogre's lair.

3. And now, at thy behest, We pause in our bright array, To end thy weary quest, For love has found a way, To end thy weary, weary quest, For love has found a way.

[_Queen Titania coming forward, waves her star-tipped-wand, and looks up toward Princess at the window._


Princess Winsome, When thy good Godmother Bade thee spin Love's thread, It was with this promise, These the words she said:

All the world helps gladly Those who help themselves. The thread thou spinnest bravely, Shall be woven by elves.

And now, O Princess Winsome, How much hast thou spun, As thy wheel, a-whirling, Turned from sun to sun?


This, O Queen Titania.

[_Holding up mammoth ball._

To the humming wheel's refrain, I sang, and spun the measure Of one great golden skein.

And winding, winding, winding, At last I wound it all, Until the thread all golden Made a mammoth wonder-ball.


Here below thy casement Thy true knight waiting stands. Drop the ball thou holdest Into his faithful hands.

[_Princess drops the ball, Knight catches it, and as Titania waves her wand, he starts along the line of Fairies. They each take hold as the Witch and Ogre come darting in, she brandishing her broomstick, he his bludgeon. They come through gate of the Orchard in the background. As the ball unwinds, the Fairies march around them, tangling them in the yards and yards of narrow yellow ribbon, singing as they go._

_Fairy Chorus_

We come, we come at thy call, On rainbow bubbles we float. We fairies, one and all, Have answered the Wind-flute's note. To the aid of the gallant Knight, To the help of the Princess fair, To the rescue of the Prince, We come to the Ogre's lair.

We come, we come at thy call, The Witch and Ogre to quell, And now they both must bow To the might of the fairies' spell. Love's Golden Thread can bind The strongest Ogre's arm, And the spell of the blackest Witch Must yield to its mighty charm.

[_Ogre and Witch stand bound and helpless, tangled in golden cord. They glower around with frightful grimaces. King and Queen enter unnoticed from side. Knight draws his sword, and brandishing it before Ogre, cries out fiercely._


The Key! The key that opens yonder tower! Now give it me, or by my troth Your head shall from your shoulders fly! To stab you through I'm nothing loath!

[_Ogre gives Knight the key. He rushes to the door, unlocks it, and Princess and dog burst out. Queen rushes forward and embraces her, then the King, and Knight kneels and kisses her hand. Princess turns to Titania._


Oh, happy day that sets me free From yon dread Ogre's prison! Oh, happy world, since 'tis for me Such rescuers have 'risen. But see, your Majesty! the plight Of Hero--he the Prince, my brother! Wilt thou _his_ wrong not set aright? Another favour grant! One other!

[_Titania waves wand toward Knight who springs at Witch with drawn sword_.


The spell! The spell that breaks the power That holds Prince Hero in its thrall! Now give it me, or in this hour Thy head shall from its shoulders fall!


Pluck with your thumbs Seven silver plums

[_Speaking in high, cracked voice_.

From my golden apple-tree! These the dog must eat. The change will be complete, And a prince once more the dog will be!

[_Princess darts back into orchard, followed by dog, who crouches behind hedge, and is seen no more. She picks plums, and, stooping, gives them to him, under cover of the hedge. The real Prince Hero leaps up from the place where he has been lying, waiting, and hand in hand they run back to the centre of the stage, where the Prince receives the embraces of King and Queen. Prince then turns to Knight_.

_Prince Hero_

Hail, Feal the Faithful! My gratitude I cannot tell, That thou at last hast freed me From the Witch's fearful spell. But wheresoe'er thou goest, Thou faithful knight and true, The favours of my kingdom Shall all be showered on you.

[_Turns to Titania._

Hail, starry-winged Titania! And ye fairies, rainbow-hued! I have not words sufficient To tell my gratitude, But if the loyal service Of a mortal ye should need, Prince Hero lives to serve you, No matter what the deed!

[_Characters now group themselves in tableau. Queen and Prince on one side. Godmother and Titania on the other. King in centre, with Princess on one hand, Knight on other. He places her hand in the Knight's, who kneels to receive it. Ogre and Witch, still making horrible faces, are slightly in background, bound. Fairies form an outer semi-circle_.


And now, brave Knight, requited stand! Here is the Princess Winsome's hand. To-morrow thou shalt wedded be, And half my kingdom is for thee!

_Fairy Chorus_

Love's golden cord has bound The strongest Ogre's arm, And the spell of the blackest Witch Has yielded to its charm. The Princess Winsome plights Her troth to the Knight to-day, So fairies, one and all, We need no longer stay.

The golden thread is spun, The Knight has won his bride, And now our task is done, We may no longer bide. On rainbow bubbles bright, We fairies float away. _The wrong is now set right_ _And Love has found the way!_