A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Oh, go not to the lonely hill,
That from its heart pours one clear well!
There is a witch who haunts it still,
Who would undo you with her spell.
Oh, go not to the lonely hill.
There was a youth who, with his book,
Would dream for hours and hours alone
Beneath the boughs, beside the brook,
Seated upon a mossy stone,
His gaze upon his wonder-book.
The scent of lilies there is cool,
Hanging in many a wild raceme
Around a glimmering woodland pool,
From whence flows down a shadowy stream.
The scent of lilies there is cool. . . .
Between his eyes and unturned page
He saw her bright face, smiling, nod:
And knew her of another Age,
A pagan Age that mocked at God.
She seemed to rise from out the page,
Clothed on with dreams and forest scent,
And light and wind, that breathed and blew;
A water-gleam, that came and went,
She seemed, who round her presence drew
A portion of the light and scent.
With eyes of crystal gray she smiled
Into his eyes and murmured words
Of love that made his pulse beat wild,
His heart to flutter like a bird's
The fowler snares while slow she smiled.
And then she kissed him; smoothed his hair;
And bade him come. And he was fain
To follow her, yea, anywhere,
And as her slave for aye remain,
When she had kissed his mouth and hair.
And he arose and took her hand,
And followed as one does in dreams:
And, lo, they came to Faeryland,
And danced an hour by its streams,
And sat an hour, hand in hand.
When he returned to Earth, no place
Remembered him that once had known:
Save for the memory of her face
Here in the world he walked alone,
His mortal heart held by that place.
And so he sits where all may see,
And tells his tale, that none believes,
Like you, who now depart from me,
Who leave me with a soul that grieves
For her my eyes no more shall see.
Nay; go not to that hill, lest you
Should fall beneath that Faery's spell,
Like me, and evermore pursue
A dream of beauty, loved too well,
That holds you and escapes from you.

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