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So the day of their glory is over,

And out on the desolate waste
The far-scattered remnants yet hover,

Like shades of the long-vanished past.




'Tis the middle, watch of a summer's night-
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Naught is seen in the vault on high
But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky,
And the flood which rolls its milky hue,
A river of light on the welkin blue.
The moon looks down on old Cronest,
She mellows the shades on his shaggy breast,
And seems his huge gray form to throw
In a silver cone on the wave below;
His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the walnut bough and the cedar made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the firefly's spark-
Like starry twinkles that momently break
Through the rifts of the gathering tempest's rack.


The stars are on the moving stream,

And fling, as its ripples gently flow,
A burnished length of wavy beam

In an eel-like spiral line below;
The winds are whist, and the owl is still,

The bat in the shelvy rock is hid;
And naught is heard on the lonely hill

But the cricket's chirp, and the answer shrill

Of the gauze-winged katydid ;
And the plaint of the wailing whippoorwill,
Who moans unseen, and ceaseless sings,

Ever a note of wail and woe,
Till morning spreads her rosy wings,

And earth and sky in her glances glow.


'Tis the hour of fairy ban and spell;
The wood-tick has kept the minutes well;
He has counted them all with click and stroke
Deep in the heart of the mountain-oak,
And he has awakened the sentry elve

Who sleeps with him in the haunted tree,
To bid him ring the hour of twelve,

And call the Fays to their revelry; Twelve small strokes on his tinkling bell('Twas made of the white snail's pearly shell); Midnight comes, and all is well! Hither, hither, wing your way! 'Tis the dawn of the fairy-day.”


They come from beds of lichen green,
They creep from the mullen's velvet screen;
Some on the backs of beetles fly

From the silver tops of moon-touched trees, Where they swung in their cobweb hammocks high,

And rocked about in the evening breeze; Some from the humbird's downy nest

They had driven him out by elfin power, And, pillowed on plumes of his rainbow breast,

Had slumbered there till the charmèd hour; Some had lain in the scoop of the rock,

With glittering ising-stars inlaid ;

And some had opened the four-o'clock,

And stole within its purple shade.
And now they throng the moonlight glade,

Above-below-on every side,
Their little minim forms arrayed

In the tricksy pomp of fairy pride !


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They come not now to print the lea,
In freak and dance around the tree,
Or at the mushroom board to sup,
And drink the dew from the buttercup;-
A scene of sorrow awaits them now,
For an Ouphe has broken his vestal vow;
He has loved an earthly maid,
And left for her his woodland shade;
He has lain upon her lip of dew,
And sunned him in her eye of blue,
Fanned her cheek with his wing of air,
Played in the ringlets of her hair,
And, nestling on her snowy breast,
Forgot the lily-king's behest.
For this the shadowy tribes of air

To the elfin court must haste away ;-
And now they stand expectant there,

To hear the doom of the culprit Fay.


The throne was reared upon the grass,
Of spice-wood and of sassafras;
On pillars of mottled tortoise-shell

Hung the burnished canopy--
And over it gorgeous curtains fell

Of the tulip's crimson drapery.
The monarch sat on his judgment-seat,

On his brow the crown imperial shone;

The prisoner Fay was at his feet,

And his peers were ranged around the throne; He waved his scepter in the air,

He looked around and calmly spoke; His brow was grave and his eye severe,

But his voice in a softened accent broke:


“Fairy ! Fairy! list and mark:

Thou hast broke thine elfin chain;
Thy flame-wood lamp is quenched and dark,

And thy wings are dyed with a deadly stainThou hast sullied thine elfin purity

In the glance of a mortal maiden's eye, Thou hast scorned our dread decree,

And thou shouldst pay the forfeit high. But well I know her sinless mind

Is pure as the angel forms above,
Gentle and meek, and chaste and kind,

Such as a spirit well might love;
Fairy! had she spot or taint,
Bitter had been thy punishment.

Now list, and mark our mild decree-
Fairy, this


doom must be :

« Thou shalt seek the beach of sand
Where the water bounds the elfin land;
Thou shalt watch the


brine Till the sturgeon leaps in the bright moonshine; Then dart the glistening arch below, And catch a drop from his silver bow. The water-sprites will wield their arms

And dash around, with roar and rave, And vain are the woodland spirits' charms,

They are the imps that rule the wave.

Yet trust thee in thy single might:
If thy heart be pure and thy spirit right,
Thou shalt win the warlock fight.


“ If the spray-bead gem be won,

The stain of thy wing is washed away:
But another errand must be done

Ere thy crime be lost for aye;
Thy flame-wood lamp is quenched and dark,
Thou must reillume its spark.
Mount thy steed and spur him high
To the heavens' blue canopy ;
And when thou seest a shooting-star,
Follow it fast, and follow it far-
The last faint spark of its burning train
Shall light the elfin lamp again.
Thou hast heard our sentence, Fay;
Hence! to the water-side, away!”


He put his acorn helmet on;
It was plumed of the silk of the thistle-down;
The corslet plate that guarded his breast
Was once the wild bee's golden vest;
His cloak, of a thousand mingled dyes,
Was formed of the wings of butterflies ;
His shield was the shell of a lady-bug queen,
Studs of gold on a ground of green;
And the quivering lance which he brandished bright,
Was the sting of a wasp he had slain in fight.
Swift he bestrode his fire-fly steed;

He bared his blade of the bent grass blue;
He drove his spurs of the cockle-seed,

And away like a glance of thought he flew,

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