The king of elves and little fairy queenGambolled on heaths, and danced in every green;And where the jolly troop had led the round,The grass unbidden rose, and marked the ground.Nor darkling did they dance; the silver lightOf Phoebe served to guide their steps aright,And, with their tripping pleased, prolonged the night. (3-9)
Al was this land / fulfild of ffairye
The Elf queene / with hir ioly compaignye
Daunced ful ofte / in many a grene mede  (3-5)
I speak of ancient times, for now the swainDespite Chaucer’s “ ther as wont/ to walken was an Elf / Ther walketh now...” form (17-18), he has no palpable sense of loss or regret. He remains more matter-of-fact, stating that one existed and the other exists, while Dryden repeats “in vain” three times in six lines (17-22) and depicts milkmaids sighing over uneaten cream left out for the little folk. Interestingly, the effect of this is resentment against the priests and friars, which translates nicely into an anti-papist sentiment that is, naturally, missing in poor Chaucer’s original.
Returning late may pass the woods in vain,
And never hope to see the nightly train. (16-18)
The other interesting thing in this introduction is the depiction of these little country rituals relating to the fairies:
In vain the dairy now with mints is dress'd,I didn’t know about the mints, or that the fairies were meant to leave payment in your shoe (conflation with the fairy cobbler idea?). Perhaps the lack of fairies in Britain today can be directly attributed to the lack of mints.
The dairymaid expects no fairy guest,
To skim the bowls, and after pay the feast.
She sighs and shakes her empty shoes in vain,
No silver penny to reward her pain. (19-23)
 Sadly, I lack my Riverside, so quotes from the Tale come from a transcript of the Hengwrt manuscript, because that's more fun to read.
 Does the pastoral count as idealistic nostalgic in itself at this point? If Shakespeare was any indication, I’d guess so. Civet is of a baser birth than tar, after all!