Or a waterfall deep.

It whispered strange tales,

Human words it spoke not.

Told fair things to come,

And our marvellous lot

If now with fawn-steps

Unshod we advanced

To the midst of the grove

And in reverence danced.

We obeyed as he piped

Soft grass to young feet,

Was a medicine mighty,

A remedy meet.

Our thin blood awoke,

It grew dizzy and wild,

Though scarcely a word

Moved the lips of a child.

Our dance gave allegiance,

It set us apart,

We tripped a strange measure,

Uplifted of heart.


We thought to be proud

Of our fawn everywhere.

We could hardly see how

Simple books were a care.

No rule of the school

This strange student could tame.

He was banished one day,

While we quivered with shame.

He piped back our love

On a moon-silvered night,

Enticed us once more

To the place of delight.

A greeting he sang

And it made our blood beat,

It tramped upon custom

And mocked at defeat.

He builded a fire

And we tripped in a ring,

The embers our books

And the fawn our good king.

And now we approached

All the mysteries rare

That shadowed his eyelids

And blew through his hair.

That spell now was peace

The deep strength of the trees,

The children of nature

We clambered her knees.

Our breath and our moods

Were in tune with her own,

Tremendous her presence,

Eternal her throne.

The ostracized child

Our white foreheads kissed,

Our bodies and souls

Became lighter than mist.

Sweet dresses like snow

Our small lady-loves wore,

Like moonlight the thoughts

That our bosoms upbore.

Like a lily the touch

Of each cold little hand.

The loves of the stars

We could now understand.

O quivering air!

O the crystalline night!

O pauses of awe

And the faces swan-white!

O ferns in the dusk!

O forest-shrined hour!

O earth that sent upward

The thrill and the power,

To lift us like leaves,

A delirious whirl,

The masterful boy

And the delicate girl!

What child that strange night-time

Can ever forget?

His fealty due

And his infinite debt

To the folly divine,

To the exquisite rule

Of the perilous master,

The fawn-footed fool?


Now soldiers we seem,

And night brings a new thing,

A terrible ire,

As of thunder awing.

A warrior power,

That old chivalry stirred,

When knights took up arms,

As the maidens gave word.





_Near, nearer that war,

And that ecstasy comes,

We hear the trees beating

Invisible drums.

The fields of the night

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