THE SONG-BIRD AND THE FAIRY
There’s been a lone bird all the day,
The long May-day;
Singing a song on a beechen-spray
For love of a fay:
A tender, plaintive song, and so sweet,
For the heart that under its plumage beat
Has measured the beat and swell of the lay.
O fay! O Sweet!
How shall it be, my fairy fay,
When to-morrow we greet?
Will you wave white flowers and smile to meet,
And vanish away?
Will you sing me a song all golden-gay
And dance with your feet?
With never a thought of love, my Sweet,
With never a glance at my beechen-spray?
O sweet, fair fay!
I will woo you not in this month of May.
My beautiful fay,
I will only sing, and sing you my song,
I will only love you, and long, and long
For a mellower day,
When the autumn’s here, and the corn is strong,
And the fair white flowers have perished away
That you love far better than love’s own lay
O Sweet! my fay.
Will you hear me then, my fay, my fay?
Will you love my song?
When the flowers are faded upon your way,
And your golden head is all silver grey,
And memories throng?
Will you reach your hand to the beechen-spray,
Will you cherish your bird in that autumn-day,
That sang so long?
Sang all for love of you, fair fay,
Sang, till it sang its youth away!
I can stay my heart, I can stay my lay,
And live, and live, and live for the day
When the dancing and weaving of flowers is done
And your gold is grey:
Till clouds move thicklier over the sun
I can stay my song:
Till you turn with a sigh to the beechen-spray,
And see it all lit with an evening ray
I can live:–for the love at my heart is strong
But oh! my darling, my Sweet, my fay,
‘Tis long: ’tis long.
–Louisa Sarah Bevington