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Public Domain Victorian Children's Fantasy Poem: The Toll-Gate (Poetry for Kids)


This little poem, entitled "The Toll-Gate" was written and illustrated by Rudolph F. Bunner (1860 - 1931), a noted illustrator and painter. It was originally published in the December 1895 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. Here is how it goes:

There is a toll-gate hidden away,
Half in the fields, and half in the trees,
Where the children, the elves, and the fairies stray,
With footsteps facing the twilight breeze.

The fairies and elves can pass through free,
But a child must pay for the toll with a song,
Before the fairy land it can see,
And this must be said, or it all goes wrong:

"I believe in the Three Little Bears,
And the Prince that climbed the Mountain of Glass,
And I know how the Wild Swan's sister fares, --
So open the gate and let me pass."

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