The Secret Commonwealth


When light of evening lingers low
And gilds the misty steep,
And woodland shadow-fingers grow
To entwine the land with sleep;
Then through the twilight's glimmering
Flit elven shapes, aglow,
And softly sylvan voices sing
Sad lays of long ago

Across the fields the fleeting moon
Yet strews the argent rays
That on these darkling hills were strewn
Before the elder days;
Oh then without dark earthen walls
The elfin folk did bide
In rainbow-lustred crystal halls
On every green hill side.

From hill to hill they laid their paths
Across the starlit land,
From east to west and south to north,
From strand to silver strand;
And down these fair enchanted roads
By cairns of ancient stone
The serpent-powers of earth once flowed
Where lonely winds now moan.

Now some have gone beyond the waves
And some beyond the sky,
And some have sought the shadowed caves -
But ne'er a one may die
And when the wheel of time has turned
And ages passed away
Their song may once again be heard
Beneath the starry Way.