Hannah More

(1745-1833 / England)

Inscription In A Beautiful Retreat Called Fairy Bower


Airy spirits, you who love
Cooling bower, or shady grove;
Streams that murmur as they flow,
Zephyrs bland that softly blow;

Babbling echo, or the tale
Of the love-lorn Nightingale;
Hither, airy spirits, come,
This is your peculiar home.

If you love a verdant glade,
If you love a noon-tide shade,
Hither, Sylphs and Fairies fly,
Unobserved of earthly eye.

Come, and wander every night,
By the moon-beam's glimmering light;
And again at early day
Brush the silver dews away.

Mark where first the daisies blow,
Where the bluest violets grow,
Where the sweetest linnet sings,
Where the earliest cowslip springs;

Where the largest acorn lies,
Precious in a Fairy's eyes:
Sylphs, thought unconfined to place,
Love to fill an acorn's space.

Come, and mark within what bush
Builds the blackbird or the thrush;
Great his joy who first espies,
Greater his who spares the prize!

Come, and watch the hallow'd bower,
Chase the insect from the flower;
Little offices like these,
Gentle souls and Fairies please.

Mortals! form'd of grosser clay,
From our haunts keep far away;
Or, if you should dare appear,
See that you from vice are clear.

Folly's minion, Fashion's fool,
Mad Ambition's restless tool!
Slave of passion, slave of power,
Fly, ah fly! this tranquil bower!

Son of avarice, soul of frost,
Wretch! of Heaven abhorr'd the most,
Learn to pity others' wants,
Or avoid these hallow'd haunts.

Eye unconscious of a tear,
When affliction's train appear:
Heart that never heaved a sigh
For another, come not nigh.

But, ye darling sons of Heaven,
Giving freely what was given;
You, whose liberal hands dispense
The blessings of benevolence:

You, who wipe the tearful eye,
You, who stop the rising sigh;
You, whose souls have understood
The luxury of doing good.

Come, ye happy virtuous few,
Open is my bower to you;
You, these mossy banks may press;
You, each guardian Fay shall bless.

Submitted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

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