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  ― 61 ―

Night Stock

FROM Winterbrook to Ashton
The road is white and clear;
In the low light, in the moonlight,
In the heyday of the year,
To Winterbrook from Ashton
Riding came my dear!

A columbine, a red rose,
A tiger-lily grand,
And pansies blue as elves grew
In fields of Faäryland,
To Winterbrook from Ashton
He brought me in his hand!

But more than royal red rose
Or tiger-lily fine,
A blue bowl, a pearl bowl
A-brim with wizard wine;
He brought me scented night stock,
And all the world was mine!

A purple leaf, a green leaf,
A hint of pink and brown,
And deep, deep, in charméd sleep
I laid my senses down,
And heard the beat of wee feet,
The fairies come to town!

Oh, Faäry Town is Dream Town,
And none may break the spell,
But the earth-scent and the wind-song
And the murmur of a shell
At moonset when the ebb-tide
Is tolling like a bell!




  ― 62 ―
And Faäry time is all time,
Nor aye is near or far;
For heart's need or love's meed,
A mercy or a star,
The blesséd gates of ivory
For ever stand ajar!

The wind that wakes the clove buds
Blows east by Hindustan,
From Celebes the spice breeze
Brings junk and merchantman,
With frankincense and camphor
And myrrh and frangipan!

But fleeter through the palm seas,
Low-loaded to the rail,
With scented snow of peach blow,
Like foam before the gale,
To Faäry Town with witchgold
The fleets of Faäry sail!

And first they gave me lad's love
And mint and dragon's tongue,
But the last gift was black thrift—
Slow, slow the sea-tide swung,
And white as bone the moon set,
The bells of Faäry rung!

Oh, soon they gave me witchgold,
But syne they brought me rue,
And the earth-scent and the wind-song
Like hounds of night ran through
And loudly belled the white stag,
The horns of Faäry blew!




  ― 63 ―
The columbine, the red rose,
The tiger-lily grand,
The pansies blue as elves grew
Were dust within my hand;
But mine for aye the night stock,
My Faäry contraband.

From Winterbrook to Ashton
The road is white and clear;
In the low light, in the moonlight,
In the heyday of the year,
To Winterbrook from Ashton
Riding came my dear!

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