Through leafy windows of the trees
The full moon shows a wrinkled face,
And, trailing dim her draperies
Of mist from place to place,
The Twilight leads the breeze.
And now, far-off, beside a pool,
Dusk blows a reed, a guttural note;
Then sows the air around her full
Of twinkling disc and mote,
And moth-shapes soft as wool.
And from a glen, where lights glow by,
Through hollowed hands she sends a call,
And Solitude, with owlet cry,
Answers: and Evenfall
Steps swiftly from the sky.
And Mystery, in hodden gray,
Steals forth to meet her: and the Dark
Before him slowly makes to sway
A jack-o'-lantern spark
To light him on his way.
The grasshopper its violin
Tunes up, the katydid its fife;
The beetle drums; the grig makes din,
Informing Elfin life
Night's revels now begin.
And from each side along the way
Old Witchcraft waves a batlike hand,
And summons forth the toadstool gray
To point the path to Faeryland,
Where all man's longings stray.
The snail puts forth two staring horns
And down the toadstool slides;
The wind sits whispering in the thorns
Of one unseen who hides:
Of him, the Sprite,
With glowworm light,
Who watchmans secrets of the Night.
The bee sleeps in the berry-bloom;
The bird dreams on its nest;
The moon-moth swoons through drowsed perfume
Upon a fragrant quest:
It seeks for him,
The Pixy slim,
Who tags with wet each wildflower's rim.
The milkwort leans an ear of pink
And listens for the dew;
The fireflies in the wildrose wink
That seems to listen too:
For her, the Fay,
With sword-like ray,
Who opens buds at close of day.
The moon, that dares not come too near,
Keeps to the highest hill;
The little brook it seems, for fear
Of something strange, is still:
It well may be,
That talks to it of Faerie.