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23. Jan 2009

The Others

Fairy Midsummer Eve

FROM our hidden places	
  By a secret path,	
We come in the moonlight	
  To the side of the green rath.	
There the night through	        
  We take our pleasure,	
Dancing to such a measure	
  As earth never knew.	
To song and dance	
  And lilt without a name,	        
So sweetly breathed	
  ’Twould put a bird to shame.	
And many a young maiden	
  Is there, of mortal birth,	
Her young eyes laden	        
  With dreams of earth.	
And many a youth entranced	
  Moves slowly in the wildered round,	
His brave lost feet enchanted,	
  With the rhythm of faery sound.	        
Music so forest wild	
  And piercing sweet would bring	
Silence on blackbirds singing	
  Their best in the ear of spring.	
And now they pause in their dancing,	        
  And look with troubled eyes,	
Earth straying children	
  With sudden memory wise.	
They pause, and their eyes in the moonlight	
  With fairy wisdom cold,	        
Grow dim and a thought goes fluttering	
  In the hearts no longer old.	
And then the dream forsakes them,	
  And sighing, they turn anew,	
As the whispering music takes them,	        
  To the dance of the elfin crew.	
O many a thrush and a blackbird	
  Would fall to the dewy ground,	
And pine away in silence	
  For envy of such a sound.	        
So the night through	
  In our sad pleasure,	
We dance to many a measure,	
  That earth never knew.	

Seumas O'Sullivan (1879-1958)