The Fairies’ Flitting.

The Fairies are floating, flying away 1
From bushy rath and from grassy dell ; 2
From the dark rings seen en the valleys green ; 3
But whither they ’re wandering none can tell.4
In the dim blue haze, from the mountain spread5
O’er river and landscape at close of day ;6
Through the amber furze ; o’er the shining pools,7
The fleet-footed fairy folk pass away.8
In the vapour floating o’er marsh and moor,9
The bright clouds trailed o’er the mountain height ;10
In the white mist-wraiths on the silent lakes,11
They’ve taken their noiseless, secret flight.12
In the rosy dawn, in the cloudy dusk,13
They vanish, and with them the good old times ;14
So we bid them farewell with regretful thoughts,15
With tender mem’ries, and gentle rhymes.16
But where have they vanished ? the small bright folk,17
That never at matin or vesper bell18
Have knelt down to prayer, yet were blithe and gay—19
Where have they vanished from hill and dell ?20
Too frail to traverse the rolling seas,21
In the billow’s swell, in the tempest’s roar ;22
Too light to sink to the underworld,23
Where the shadows of death lie brooding o’er.24
Too feeble to reach heaven’s gates of gold ;25
(Their wings are slight, though so light and fleet);26
They’d fail in the blue, so cold and pure,27
And find no rest for their tiny feet.28
Perhaps they are still near the moated hill,29
The rank green grass, and the flower-sweet sod.30
May their sleep be soft on the earth, poor souls !31
Whose wings are too weak to ascend to God.32