Rose And Redbird - A Faerytale.

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I had the strangest dream last night:
I dreamed the poppies, red and white,
That over-run the flower-bed,
Changed to wee women, white and red,
Who, jeweled with the twinkling wet,
Joined hands and danced a minuet.

And there, beside the garden walk,
I thought a red-rose stood at talk
With a black cricket; and I heard
The cricket say, "You are the bird,
Red-crested, who comes every day
To sing his lyric roundelay."

The rose replied, "Nay! you must know
That bird and I loved long-ago:
I am a princess, he a prince:
And we were parted ever since
The world of science made us don
The new disguises we have on."

And then the rose put off disguise
And stood revealed before my eyes,
A faery princess; and, in black,
His tiny fiddle on his back,
An elfin fiddler, long of nose,
The cricket bowed before the rose.

A house of moss and firefly-light
Now seemed to rise within the night
Beside the tree where, bending low,
The flowers stood, a silken row,
Around the rose, a faery band
Before the Queen of Faeryland.

And suddenly I saw the side
Of a great beech-tree open wide,
And there, behold! were wondrous things,
Slim flower-like people bright with wings,
Who bowed before a throne of state,
Whereon the rose and redbird sate.

And then I woke; and there, behold,
Was naught except the moonlight's gold
On tree and garden; and the flowers
Safe snuggled in their beds and bowers:
The rose was gone, but where she'd stood
Lay scattered crimson of her hood.

The cricket still was at his tune
Somewhere between the dawn and moon:
And I'd have sworn it was a dream
Had I not glimpsed a glowworm gleam
And heard a chuckling in the tree,
And seen the dewdrop wink at me.

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