Fairies and Flowers.

Children who gather common flowers at will,1
And leave them, withering, on the path to lie,2
Dream not that sprites, in pain, cling to them still,3
And cannot wander till the moon is high ;4
When evening’s hush is felt on hill and dell,5
The fairies of all flowers round them meet,6
And charm the night with tones ineffable,7
And circle o’er the grass with glimmering feet.8
The fairies gathered round, with pity view9
The broken flowers lying helplessly,10
And trick out the crushed leaves with diamond dew ;11
But when the moon is high, the sprites are free,12
These, long unhappy, now at freedom set,13
Yet linger for a moment quite forlorn,14
Droop o’er their faded flowers with regret,15
Then fly to find new homes before the morn.16
Good fairies guard and guide them through the
To waiting buds these lonely sprites they bring,18
And to the beauty yet concealed from sight19
Link them by magic of their wondrous ring ;20
The light flows round them with a happy tune,21
While the uniting charm is made complete22
With hands thrice waved towards the setting moon,23
And the buds ope to give us flowers sweet.24