Fairy Sketch - Scene - Netley Abbey

A poem by William Lisle Bowles

There was a morrice on the moonlight plain,
And music echoed in the woody glade,
For fay-like forms, as of Titania's train,
Upon a summer eve, beneath the shade
Of Netley's ivied ruins, to the sound
Of sprightly minstrelsy did beat the ground:
Come, take hands! and lightly move,
While our boat, in yonder cove,
Rests upon the darkening sea;
Come, take hands, and follow me!

Netley! thy dim and desolated fane
Hath heard, perhaps, the spirits of the night
Shrieking, at times, amid the wind and rain;
Or haply, when the full-orbed moon shone bright,
Thy glimmering aisles have echoed to the song
Of fairy Mab, who led her shadowy masque along.
Now, as to the sprightly sound
Of moonlight minstrelsy we beat the ground;
From the pale nooks, in accent clear,
Now, methinks, her voice I hear,
Sounding o'er the darksome sea;
Come, take hands, and follow me!

Here, beneath the solemn wood,
When faintly-blue is all the sky,
And the moon is still on high,
To the murmurs of the flood,
To the glimpses of the night,
We perform our airy rite;
Care and pain to us unknown,
To the darkening seas are flown.

Hear no more life's fretful noise,
Heed not here pale Envy's sting,
Far from life's distempered joys;
To the waters murmuring,
To the shadows of the sky,
To the moon that rides on high,
To the glimpses of the night,
We perform our airy rite,
While care and pain, to us unknown,
To the darkening seas are flown.

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