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James Bernard Dollard

The Fairy Harpers

As I walked the heights of Meelin on a tranquil autumn day,
The fairy host came stealing o'er the distant moorland gray.
I heard like sweet bells ringing,
Or a grove of linnets singing,
And the haunting, wailful music that the fairy harpers play!

Like thunder of deep waters when vast-heaving billows break,
Like soughing of the forest when ten thousand branches shake,
Like moaning of the wind,
When the night falls bleak and blind,
So wild and weird the melodies the fairy minstrels make.

The sunbeams flecked the valley, and the cloud-shades ranged the hill,
The thistle-down scarce drifted in the air so calm and still.
But along the slopes of Meelin
Came the ghostly music pealing,
With sad and fitful cadences that set my soul a-thrill!

Then wan and wistful grew the sky o'er Meelin's summit lone,
And weeping for the days gone by, my heart grew cold as stone,

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The Haunted Hazel

Adown a quiet glen where the gowan-berries glisten
And the linnet, shyest bird of all, his wild note warbles free;
Where the scented woodbine-blossoms, o'er the brooklet, bend to listen,
There stands upon a mossy bank, a white-hazel tree.

Oh! fair it is to view, when the zephyr rustles lightly,
And warm sunlight glances back from polished bole and branch;
For then like wavelets on a rill the pendent leaves flash brightly,
And daisies nod in concert, round the column straight and staunch.

But when the day is ended, and the solemn moon is shining,
And shadows grim and ghostly, fall on grove and glen and lea,
Then godless elves their fairy paths with glow-worm lamps are lining,
And potent spells of magic bind this white-hazel tree!

For from their gorgeous palaces the fairy bands come stealing,
To dance in sportive circles on the never bending moss;
And the velvet-soft caressing of their finger-touches healing,
Brings to the sere white-hazel bark again its youthful gloss.

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