1 YE fairy Elves from every cell,
2 I warn you to repair,
3 From those in acorn cups who dwell,
4 To those in coral chair;
5 Indifference bid his poppy give
6 To calm this aching head,
7 And o'er the feelings that will live
8 Its opiate juices shed.
9 Then anxious thoughts shall disappear,
10 The wayward wishes die;
11 And every forward starting tear
12 Withdraw into the eye.
13 Come, Elfin Puck, I know thee well;
14 By moonlight have I seen
15 Thee and thy train weave many a spell
16 Beneath yon oaks so green. [Page 117]
17 Once, when the sky was up in arms,
18 With northern lights at war,
19 And thou wast sent for wonderous charms,
20 Not Oberon knew how far;
21 Within a dark and gloomy shade,
22 Where no star-lamps were hung;
23 Where the bold torrent thunder made,
24 And Echo's shell was rung;
25 Where the hoar rock majestic sat,
26 And lent a listening ear;
27 And where the drowsy half-blind bat
28 Wheel'd round, but wheel'd with fear;
29 Thou didst a gentle maid behold
30 On the hard rock reclin'd,
31 Whilst all her garment's silken folds
32 Were floating in the wind;
33 And ever and anon there fell
34 A tear from either eye,
35 That dropt into the deep harebell
36 Which held her cup hard by;
37 And in her hand a mirror shone
38 O'er which a painted train
39 Of former joys — far past and gone,
40 Would wander back again;
41 And many a shadowy form was seen
42 To court the yielding heart;
43 And many a happier hour had been,
44 That died ere it could part!
45 One form was ever in her eye,
46 And in her heart was found,[Page 118]
47 To catch the vapour of a sigh,
48 And waft it round and round;
49 Quick in an instant fled away
50 The variegated train;
51 And all the crowd that seem'd so gay
52 Spread into air again.
53 Ah! Memory, source of joy and woe,
54 Could'st thou thy mirror stain
55 In such a way as but to show
56 Gay pleasure's sportive train;
57 Then would I kneel, and bless thy power,
58 And ever round thy shrine
59 Low bend each happy, blissful hour
60 That ever once was mine;
61 O! I would kneel from morn till night,
62 And see the setting sun
63 Sink down the sky, and lose his light,
64 Ere half the rites were done.
65 But, ah! how vain, while one dear shade
66 Still bends its form to me;
67 And as I stray through time's worn glade,
68 No other form I see!
69 While every word that softly flow'd
70 Seems yet to court my ear, —
71 The only sound in life's dull road
72 It ever wish'd to hear!
73 O! dear Forgetfulness, if e'er
74 Thou wov'st a winding shroud,
75 Or turn'd to pearl one trickling tear
76 That dropp'd from Sorrow's cloud;[Page 119]
77 O! Memory, if thy mirror broke
78 When Grief her note would swell,
79 Or by some quick electric stroke
80 Thy forms would all dispel;
81 O teach a young unpractised maid
82 Her wonted ease to find,
83 And banish far yon winning form
84 That kills her peace of mind!
85 The Lesbian maid from a high rock
86 Was said her love to quell,
87 Why may not I endure the shock?
88 She ne'er lov'd half so well!
89 Just as she rose and reach'd the brink,
90 The fairy sprite was seen
91 To make the rock all slowly sink
92 To the smooth level green;
93 The roaring flood no more was heard,
94 The wind to whispers fell;
95 And gay Forgetfulness appear'd
96 To hang upon his spell;
97 And Memory's mirror darker grew,
98 And objects dimly shone;
99 And Pleasure on its surface blew,
100 And all the forms were gone.
101 The maid's pale cheek the lily lost,
102 And opening roses stray'd;
103 Their wonted smiles her eyelids boast,
104 That midst their fringes played.
105 Another form as lowly bends,
106 And tempts her heart away;[Page 120]
107 But Caution the clos'd ear defends,
108 Lest that fond heart should stray.
109 But yet Persuasion's silver sound
110 Thrills on that heart's soft cords,
111 And many a speaking tone is found
112 To have no need of words.
113 Is there a scene in fairy land
114 Where Happiness can dwell?
115 O yes, when heart goes with the hand,
116 And weaves the Lover's spell!
117 Then haste, Indifference thou must bring
118 To shed her calm o'er me,
119 I ask no other earthly thing
120 From thy great Queen and thee!
121 'Twas when mild Evening took her views,
122 I made this ardent prayer,
123 Her pencil dipt in silver dews
124 Would paint a softer air;
125 Sudden within the darkling grove
126 Some tiny feet were heard,
127 And scenes by gay Enchantment wove
128 In magic pomp appear'd.
129 Borne on a high triumphal car
130 Of orient pearl made,
131 The Fairy Queen, like some bright star
132 Shot through the spangl'd glade,
133 Bedeck'd with every gem so bright,
134 That dares reflect the sun,
135 The little Queen in borrow'd light
136 Like some gay meteor shone. [Page 121]
137 Her chariot wheels of topaz, seem
138 With diamonds studded round,
139 Which, like the moonlight, dart a gleam
140 That waves along the ground;
141 While emeralds an umbrella made,
142 By many an elf upborne,
143 Whose little coats, green as the shade,
144 Bright fairy foils adorn.
145 Midst their Queen's locks of golden thread
146 A beauteous plume there waves: —
147 A humming-bird once made its bed
148 Within the foxglove's caves,
149 And Oberon, to grace his Queen,
150 Had sought the lily's bell,
151 And peep'd in every cup-clos'd flower
152 Where these gay birds can dwell;
153 At last kind chance conducts his feet
154 To where the slumberer lay; —
155 Ah! nought avails the deep retreat,
156 He bears the plume away!
157 To grace his Queen he bore the prize,
158 When Reconcilement strove
159 Again to kindle with her sighs
160 The flame of smothered love;
161 For even fairy Elves, we're told,
162 Are sometimes found to jar,
163 And many a little Elfin-scold
164 Is heard by many a star: —
165 Six little, little Indian deer,
166 That boast but half inch height,[Page 122]
167 Would at a word fly every where,
168 And journey through the night.
169 At last the glittering Queen descends,
170 While Elfins bow around;
171 And one her frosted robe attends,
172 That sweeps the spangl'd ground.
173 To me she bent: — Thou mortal mould,
174 Though seldom Fairies deign
175 Their converse with such wights to hold;
176 Yet as thou lov'st our train,
177 And dost by moonlight often stray,
178 And acorn cups bestow, —
179 The glowworm deck'st, whose glittering ray
180 Doth on our pathway glow;
181 There as thy lightsome foot thus treads
182 The lovely fairy scene,
183 Thy hand the dews so neatly threads
184 To hang on grass so green;
185 I come to say, I've sought each flower,
186 Each fairy herb and tree,
187 But there's not one has any power
188 To work a charm for thee.
189 Indifference will not shed her balm,
190 Nor drowsy poppy lend;
191 That breast can ne'er be sweetly calm,
192 Where Feeling mourns a friend.
193 Have I not mark'd thee many an hour,
194 With none but Fairies by,
195 Pluck up some story-telling flower,
196 And weep within its eye? [Page 123]
197 That little eye perchance had seen
198 Some treasure of the heart,
199 Or mark'd the spot where friends had been,
200 Or seen fond lovers part:
201 Beneath yon tree, with names o'ergrown,
202 Have I not heard thy sighs;
203 And, as embracing every one,
204 Have mark'd thy tear-set eyes?
205 Think'st thou, when reliques strow the ground
206 And hang on every tree,
207 Indifference will e'er be found
208 To shed her calm o'er thee!
209 When not a path the friend has trode,
210 But still in fancy's eye
211 It seems the only certain road
212 To meet returning joy!
213 If, if indeed thou would'st be blest,
214 No dear memorials keep;
215 And in the aching tortur'd breast
216 Let restless memory sleep.
217 Nor cull the flowers, nor mark the tree,
218 Nor through the pathway rove,
219 Where thou wast wont the friend to see
220 That won thy soul to love!
221 For Time's hard hand can ne'er deface
222 The likeness of that hour,
223 While soft remembrance keeps its trace —
224 Its mark on every flower.
225 If to forgetfulness thou'lt kneel,
226 I then will bring a charm[Page 124]
227 That o'er thy senses soft shall steal
228 And chill that heart so warm.
229 Come now, and wend along with me;
230 See'st thou yon tiny flower —
231 So white and dove-like — dost thou see
232 It loves the present hour?
233 It will not turn its little eye
234 On scenes all past and gone;
235 It dips its leaf in dewy joy,
236 And still keeps hoping on.
237 Once, once it was a tender maid,
238 And who lov'd far too well;
239 For her, in the bright glowworm glade,
240 I wrought a wonderous spell.
241 I saw the rose fade on her cheek,
242 The star set in her eye;
243 I saw the words she durst not speak —
244 E'en to the secret sigh!
245 I saw the moon fill up her horn,
246 Wane, and grow round again;
247 Still at return of eve and morn
248 I saw returning pain.
249 And in the dewdrop of the night
250 I found her pearly tear;
251 And in the hollow wind's soft sound
252 Her sighs moan'd in my ear.
253 Soft Pity touch'd a Fairy's breast,
254 I chang'd her to a flower;
255 I need not say — thou seest the rest, —
256 She loves the present hour. [Page 125]
257 Do thou from Lethe take a draught,
258 Then wear this smiling flower;
259 And to the wandering wayward thought
260 Unite the present hour.
261 The blissful bondage soon shall prove
262 A source of lasting ease,
263 For, with the present hour in love,
264 The smallest thing shall please.