The Elves.

With the noiseless beat of fairy feet,1
Merrily race, without a trace,2
The fays athwart the green ;3
While overhead the moon rose-red,4
Showers the light of noonlike night5
The charmèd boughs between.6
The bird may sleep in slumber deep7
Upon its spray when fairies play,8
Nor wake before the dawn,9
For Zephyrs’ sigh were tempest high10
Amid the trance of elfish dance11
Across the moonlit lawn.12
Now in and out the joyous rout13
Their mazes weave at shut of eve,14
When pipes the nightingale ;15
Or hollow note from the owl’s pied throat16
May music be for their wild glee,17
When softer tunings fail.18
Their drink the dew, a merry crew !19
From acorn cup they drink it up,20
And wild with that draught made,21
They dance amain till all are fain22
Their play to close, in soft repose,23
On beds of clover laid.24
But Chanticleer, the morn now near,25
Preludes the song of feathered throng26
Through all the country side :27
Away they go !— like falling snow28
Upon a stream, or wingèd dream,29
They vanish unespied.30