The Path to Faery, by Madison Cawein

I

  When dusk falls cool as a rained-on rose,
  And a tawny tower the twilight shows,
  With the crescent moon, the silver moon, the curved
      new moon in a space that glows,
  A turret window that grows alight;
  There is a path that my Fancy knows,
  A glimmering, shimmering path of night,
  That far as the Land of Faery goes.

II

  And I follow the path, as Fancy leads,
  Over the mountains, into the meads,
  Where the firefly cities, the glowworm cities, the faery
      cities are strung like beads,
  Each city a twinkling star:
  And I live a life of valorous deeds,
  And march with the Faery King to war,
  And ride with his knights on milk-white steeds.

III

  Or it's there in the whirl of their life I sit,
  Or dance in their houses with starlight lit,
  Their blossom houses, their flower houses, their elfin
     houses, of fern leaves knit,
  With fronded spires and domes:
  And there it is that my lost dreams flit,
  And the ghost of my childhood, smiling, roams
  With the faery children so dear to it.

IV

  And it's there I hear that they all come true,
  The faery stories, whatever they do—
  Elf and goblin, dear elf and goblin, loved elf and goblin,
      and all the crew
  Of witch and wizard and gnome and fay,
  And prince and princess, that wander through
  The storybooks we have put away,
  The faerytales that we loved and knew.

V

  The face of Adventure lures you there,
  And the eyes of Danger bid you dare,
  While ever the bugles, the silver bugles, the far-off
      bugles of Elfland blare,
  The faery trumpets to battle blow;
  And you feel their thrill in your heart and hair,
  And you fain would follow and mount and go
  And march with the Faeries anywhere.

VI

  And she—she rides at your side again,
  Your little sweetheart whose age is ten:
  She is the princess, the faery princess, the princess fair
      that you worshiped when
  You were a prince in a faerytale;
  And you do great deeds as you did them then,
  With your magic spear, and enchanted mail,
  Braving the dragon in his den.

VII

  And you ask again,—"Oh, where shall we ride,
  Now that the monster is slain, my bride?"—
  "Back to the cities, the firefly cities, the glowworm
      cities where we can hide,
  The beautiful cities of Faeryland.
  And the light of my eyes shall be your guide,
  The light of my eyes and my snow-white hand—
  And there forever we two will abide."