Elfin

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I.

When wildflower blue and wildflower white
The wildflowers lay their heads together,
And the moon-moth glimmers along the night,
And the wandering firefly flares its light,
And the full moon rises broad and bright,
Then, then it is elfin weather.

II.

And fern and flower on top of the hill
Are a fairy wood where the fairies camp;
And there, to the pipe of the cricket shrill,
And the owl's bassoon or the whippoorwill,
They whirl their wildest and trip their fill
By the light of the glowworm's lamp.

III.

And the green tree-toad and the katydid
Are the henchmen set to guard their dance;
At whose cry they creep 'neath the dewy lid
Of a violet's eye, or close lie hid
In a bluebell's ear, if a mortal 'mid
The moonlit woods should chance.

IV.

And the forest-fly with its gossamer wings,
And filmy body of rainbow dye,
Is the ouphen steed each elfin brings,
Whereon by the light of the stars he swings,
When the dance is done and the barn-cock sings,
And the dim dawn streaks the sky.

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