― 20 ―


STILL they stand upon the hillside and the low sun glances
On the little elfin faces all begloomed to ashen grey;
O never hand is lifted nor a light foot dances
For the fiddle-bow is broken and the fiddler far away….
Lost and gone and half forgotten down a long dead yesterday.

Once they tarried on the hillside when the world lay sleeping,
(O, the tide was at the turning and a low moon at the wane!)
And a sudden mist came o'er them and a low soft weeping
And the Grey Woman touched them, and they never laughed again
Or danced beneath the moonlight on the hills of Vandiemaine.

So they crouch like little children till the blind fear passes
That stole their merry music and stilled their dancing feet,
And left them there for ever with the thin wild grasses
That whisper them at midnights and moan in noons of heat
Of the old things, the kind things, that were so dear and sweet.

Far, far the hills of Faäry, and the slow tides turning
And the great white moons of men are as hollow winds that blew….
O the little wistful faces and the wee hearts burning
To pluck the magic moon-grapes and gather honey-dew
That only white immortals and the fairies ever knew!

  ― 21 ―
Will they waken once, I wonder, to a wild horn blowing
When a little lost wind whimpers and the Cross is leaning low?
Will they see the lamps of Faäry down her green glades glowing?
Will they hear the taut strings throbbing to a newly resined bow,
And go dancing, dancing, dancing, spilling laughter as they go?