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So the day of their glory is over,
And out on the desolate waste
Like shades of the long-vanished past.
THE CULPRIT FAY.
BY JOSEPH RODMAN DRAKE.
'Tis the middle, watch of a summer's night-
The stars are on the moving stream,
And fling, as its ripples gently flow,
In an eel-like spiral line below;
The bat in the shelvy rock is hid;
But the cricket's chirp, and the answer shrill
Of the gauze-winged katydid ;
Ever a note of wail and woe,
And earth and sky in her glances glow.
'Tis the hour of fairy ban and spell;
Who sleeps with him in the haunted tree,
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,
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.
Above-below-on every side,
In the tricksy pomp of fairy pride !
They come not now to print the lea,
To the elfin court must haste away ;-
To hear the doom of the culprit Fay.
The throne was reared upon the grass,
Hung the burnished canopy--
Of the tulip's crimson drapery.
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;
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,
Such as a spirit well might love;
Now list, and mark our mild decree-
doom must be :
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 the spray-bead gem be won,
The stain of thy wing is washed away:
Ere thy crime be lost for aye;
He put his acorn helmet on;
He bared his blade of the bent grass blue;
And away like a glance of thought he flew,