Strange little spring, by channels past our telling,
Gentle, resistless, welling, welling, welling;
Through what blind ways, we know not whence
You darkling come to dance and dimple -
Strange little spring!
Nature hath no such innocence,
And no more secret thing -
So mysterious and so simple;
Earth hath no such fairy daughter
Of all her witchcraft shapes of water.
When all the land with summer burns,
And brazen noon rides hot and high,
And tongues are parched and grasses dry,
Still are you green and hushed with ferns,
And cool as some old sanctuary;
Still are you brimming o'er with dew
And stars that dipped their feet in you.
And I believe when none is by,
Only the young moon in the sky -
The Greeks of old were right about you -
A naiad, like a marble flower,
Lifts up her lovely shape from out you,
Swaying like a silver shower.
So in old years dead and gone
Brimmed the spring on Helicon,
Just a little spring like you -
Ferns and moss and stars and dew -
Nigh the sacred Muses' dwelling,
Dancing, dimpling, welling, welling.