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And now they throng the moonlight glade, Above-below-on every side,
Their little minim forms arrayed In the tricksy pomp of fairy pride!
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 waits 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
Hung the burnished canopy-
Of the tulip's crimson drapery.
On his brow the crown imperial shone,
And his peers were ranged around the throne. He waved his sceptre 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 died with a deadly stain -
In the glance of a mortal maiden's eye ;
Is pure as the angel forms above,
“ Thou shalt seek the beach of sand
THE CULPRIT FAY.
The water-sprites will wield their arms,
And dash around, with roar and rave,
They are the imps that rule the wave.
“If the spray-bead gem be won,
The stain of thy wing is washed away,
Ere thy crime be lost for aye;
The goblin marked his monarch well ;
He spake not, but he bowed him low, Then plucked a crimson colen-bell,
And turned him round in act to go. The way is long, he cannot fly,
His soiled wing has lost its power, And he winds adown the mountain high,
For many a sore and weary hour. Through dreary beds of tangled fern, Through groves of nightshade dark and dern, Over the grass and through the brake, Where toils the ant and sleeps the snake ;
Now o'er the violet's azure flush He skips along in lightsome mood;
And now he thrids the bramble-bush, Till its points are died in fairy blood. He has leaped the bog, he has pierced the briar, He has swum the brook, and waded the mire, Till his spirits sank, and his limbs grew weak, And the red waxed fainter in his cheek. He had fallen to the ground outright,
For rugged and dim was his onward track, But there came a spotted toad in sight,
And he laughed as he jumped upon her back; He bridled her mouth with a silkweed twist,
He lashed her sides with an osier thong;