― 108 ―

The Lost Fairies

THEY come no more with the dancing feet,
Where the daffodil chorus rang sweet, so sweet;
Fairies of mine, have ye fled for ever
Shall we meet no more as we used to meet?

They come no more and the wheels run slow,
And the laughter is hushed that I used to know;
The white owl cries in the twilit meadow
Where our revels rang in the long ago.

O a fairy came knocking one day, one day,
At the meadowsweet gate where we used to play—
I heard him knock, but my heart was weary,
And I sent him weeping away, away.

And ever since then, Tho' my heart be sore
With waiting and watching, they come no more;
And the lilies have stolen their golden sandals,
And the poppies are flaunting the gowns they wore.

Ah! ever since then, in the noon o' the flowers,
When the lights are soft in the fairy bowers,
I sigh and sigh for the banished laughter,
For the singing soul of the wasted hours.

Do they mourn me, I wonder, as one that passed
While the sentinel snapdragons slumbered fast?
Or is it they seek me, all loyal-hearted,
And dream they shall find me at last, at last?

I know not; ever the red suns rise
And roll to their rest in the western skies,
But the loved, lost voices are silent, silent,
And leaps no light to the darkened eyes.

  ― 109 ―
Only when twilight lifteth her wand
And turneth the glory to shadowland,
I hear in the stillness a sound of weeping—
And know the meaning, and understand.

They have passed the boundaries mortals know,
Where the asphodel blooms and the dream-stars glow,
Tho' I seek them, seek them till suns be ashes,
I shall never find them wherever I go.

They will come no more with the dancing feet,
Where the daffodil chorus rang sweet, so sweet;
Where the white owl cries in the haunted meadow,
We shall meet no more as we used to meet.