For One Night Only

I know a place where waterfalls will dance:
Will from the cliff-side step, to take your hand,
With tinkling footstep, glide across the sand,
And share with you the blush of first romance.

But when the moon has set, they’ll dance no more,
With bow or curtsey clear, say night is done,
Return, against the cliff again to run,
And leave you standing lonely on the shore.

Some later night, you might well ask again.
Beseech the water with an offered arm,
But now the lake is lifeless in its calm.
Whatever loved you once does not remain.

No single nymph can more than once appear:
The flowing water differs every year.

Of Fairyland

Here all is beautiful: the trees, the air,
The earth, and sky one shining style share.
No bush would dare bring forth a blemished rose,
And even mud and dirt are neat and fair.

Each one who lives within own beauty rare:
Each stance and motion is a perfect pose.
Though age is theirs, no marks of time they bear,
Nor bend they with the weight of mortal care.

In edifices brilliant and insane,
They feast; and councils hold; and feast again.
For all their perfect fare is empty light —
A pale token of the life they feign.

Taste not their wine and fruit, or else remain,
Forever severed from the true and plain.