In Arcady, by Madison Cawein

  I remember, when a child,
  How within the April wild
  Once I walked with Mystery
  In the groves of Arcady….
  Through the boughs, before, behind,
  Swept the mantle of the wind,
  Thunderous and unconfined.

  Overhead the curving moon
  Pierced the twilight: a cocoon,
  Golden, big with unborn wings—
  Beauty, shaping spiritual things,
  Vague, impatient of the night,
  Eager for its heavenward flight
  Out of darkness into light.

  Here and there the oaks assumed
  Satyr aspects; shadows gloomed,
  Hiding, of a dryad look;
  And the naiad-frantic brook,
  Crying, fled the solitude,
  Filled with terror of the wood,
  Or some faun-thing that pursued.

  In the dead leaves on the ground
  Crept a movement; rose a sound:
  Everywhere the silence ticked
  As with hands of things that picked
  At the loam, or in the dew,—
  Elvish sounds that crept or flew,—
  Beak-like, pushing surely through.

  Down the forest, overhead,
  Stammering a dead leaf fled,
  Filled with elemental fear
  Of some dark destruction near—
  One, whose glowworm eyes I saw
  Hag with flame the crooked haw,
  Which the moon clutched like a claw.

  Gradually beneath the tree
  Grew a shape; a nudity:
  Lithe and slender; silent as
  Growth of tree or blade of grass;
  Brown and silken as the bloom
  Of the trillium in the gloom,
  Visible as strange perfume.

  For an instant there it stood,
  Smiling on me in the wood:
  And I saw its hair was green
  As the leaf-sheath, gold of sheen:
  And its eyes an azure wet,
  From within which seemed to jet
  Sapphire lights and violet.

  Swiftly by I saw it glide;
  And the dark was deified:
  Wild before it everywhere
  Gleamed the greenness of its hair;
  And around it danced a light,
  Soft, the sapphire of its sight,
  Making witchcraft of the night.

  On the branch above, the bird
  Trilled to it a dreamy word:
  In its bud the wild bee droned
  Honeyed greeting, drowsy-toned:
  And the brook forgot the gloom,
  Hushed its heart, and, wrapped in bloom,
  Breathed a welcome of perfume.

  To its beauty bush and tree
  Stretched sweet arms of ecstasy;
  And the soul within the rock
  Lichen-treasures did unlock
  As upon it fell its eye;
  And the earth, that felt it nigh,
  Into wildflowers seemed to sigh….

  Was it dryad? was it faun?
  Wandered from the times long gone.
  Was it sylvan? was it fay?—
  Dim survivor of the day
  When Religion peopled streams,
  Woods and rocks with shapes like gleams,—
  That invaded then my dreams?

  Was it shadow? was it shape?
  Or but fancy's wild escape?—
  Of my own child's world the charm
  That assumed material form?—
  Of my soul the mystery,
  That the spring revealed to me,
  There in long-lost Arcady?