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Her face was like the lily roon

That veils the vestal planet's hue ; Her eyes, two beamlets from the moon,

Set floating in the welkin blue. Her hair is like the sunny beam, And the diamond gems which round it gleam, Are the pure drops of dewy even That ne'er have left their native heaven.

XXXII. She raised her eyes to the wondering sprite,

And they leaped with smiles, for well I ween Never before in the bowers of light

Had the form of an earthly Fay been seen. Long she looked in his tiny face;

Long with his butterfly cloak she played ;
She smoothed his wings of azure lace,

And handled the tassel of his blade;
And as he told in accents low
She story of his love and wo,
She felt new pains in her bosom rise,

And the tear-drop started in her eyes.
And “O, sweet spirit of earth,” she cried,

“Return no more to your woodland height, But ever here with me abide

In the land of everlasting light ! Within the fleecy drift we'll lie,

We'll hang upon the rainbow's rim;

THE CULPRIT FAY.

And all the jewels of the sky
Around thy brow shall brightly beam!
And thou shalt bathe thee in the stream

That rolls its whitening foam aboon,
And ride upon the lightning's gleam,

And dance upon the orbed moon! We'll sit within the Pleiad ring,

We'll rest on Orion's starry belt, And I will bid my sylphs to sing

The song that makes the dew-mist melt; Their harps are of the umber shade,

That hides the blush of waking day, And every gleamy string is made

Of silvery moonshine's lengthened ray; And thou shalt pillow on my breast,

While heavenly breathings float around, And, with the sylphs of ether blest,

Forget the joys of fairy ground.”

XXXIII.

She was lovely and fair to see,
And the elfin's heart beat fitfully;
But lovelier far, and still more fair,
The earthly form imprinted there;
Nought he saw in the heavens above
Was half so dear as his mortal love,

For he thought upon her looks so meek,
And he thought of the light flush on her cheek;
Never again might he bask and lie
On that sweet cheek and moonlight eye,
But in his dreams her form to see,
To clasp her in his revery,
To think upon his virgin bride,
Was worth all heaven and earth beside.

XXXIV.

“ Lady,” he cried, “I have sworn to-night,
On the word of a fairy knight,
To do my sentence-task aright;
My honour scarce is free from stain,
I may not soil its snows again;
Betide me weal, betide me wo,
Its mandate must be answered now.”
Her bosom heaved with many a sigh,
The tear was in her drooping eye;

But she led him to the palace gate,
And called the sylphs who hovered there,

And bade them fly and bring him straight
Of clouds condensed a sable car.
With charm and spell she blessed it there,
From all the fiends of upper air;
Then round him cast the shadowy shroud,
And tied his steed behind the cloud;

THE CULPRIT FAY.

45

And pressed his hand as she bade him fly
Far to the verge of the northern sky,
For by its wane and wavering light
There was a star would fall to-night.

XXXV.

Borne afar on the wings of the blast,
Northward away, he speeds him fast,
And his courser follows the cloudy wain
Till the hoof-strokes fall like pattering rain.
The clouds roll backward as he flies,
Each flickering star behind him lies,
And he has reached the northern plain,
And backed his firefly steed again,
Ready to follow in its flight
The streaming of the rocket-light.

XXXVI.

The star is yet in the vault of heaven,

But it rocks in the summer gale;
And now 'tis fitful and uneven,

And now 't is deadly pale ;
And now 't is wrapped in sulphur smoke,

And quenched is its rayless beam,
And now with a rattling thunder-stroke

It bursts in flash and flame.

As swift as the glance of the arrowy lance

That the storm-spirit flings from high,
The star-shot flew o'er the welkin blue,

As it fell from the sheeted sky
As swift as the wind in its trail behind

The elfin gallops along,
The fiends of the clouds are bellowing loud,

But the sylphid charm is strong;
He gallops unhurt in the shower of fire,

While the cloud-fiends fly from the blaze;
He watches each flake till its sparks expire,

And rides in the light of its rays.
But he drove his steed to the lightning's speed,

And caught a glimmering spark;
Then wheeled around to the fairy ground,

And sped through the midnight dark.

Ouphe and goblin! imp and sprite !

Elf of eve! and starry Fay
Ye that love the moon's soft light,

Hither —hither wend your way;
Twine ye in a jocund ring,

Sing and trip it merrily,
Hand to hand, and wing to wing,

Round the wild witch-hazel treo.

Hail the wanderer again,

With dance and song, and lute and lyre,

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