Sweet fairies from the isles of song,
Bewitching choirs from music land,
The pleasures of your wondrous band
Once wooed me from the ways of wrong;
Once won my heart with fond caress
To sacred vales of summer glees,
Till carols fraught with lullabies
Filled all my soul with blessedness!
My yearnings miss those gentle sprites,
Whose laughing lips and angel eyes
And voices ever winsome-wise,
Bedewed my dreams with new delights;
For in the sad hours of my pain
I hold them as I hold the dead,
And trust that in the vales they tread,
My hands shall clasp their hands again.
From those glad meadows where they play
'Neath lovely sun and gentle star,
My longing soul has wandered far
On rocky path and thorny way;
I croon again the notes of song
In strains they taught me years ago,
And weep because my sorrows know
They have been absent for so long.
Return, O, laughing sprites of rest,
From gentle isles and peaceful seas,
And pour the balsamed wine of ease
Upon the anguish of my breast!
Till gladness in her raptures roll
Sweet strains of music, and I gain
Eternal joy for all the pain
That darkens o'er my weary soul!