I've seen ye, sisters, on the mountain-side

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I've seen ye, sisters, on the mountain-side,
When your green mantles fluttered in the wind;
I Ve seen your footprints on the lake's smooth shore,
Lesser than man's, a more ethereal trace;
I have heard of ye as some far-famed race,
Daughters of gods, whom I should one day meet,
Or mothers, I might say, of all our race.
I reverence your natures, so like mine
Yet strangely different, like but still unlike.
Thou only stranger that hast crossed my path,
Accept my hospitality; let me hear
The message which thou bring'st.
Made different from me,
Perchance thou 'rt made to be
The creature of a different destiny.
I know not who ye are that meekly stand
Thus side by side with man in every land.
When did ye form alliance with our race,
Ye children of the moon, who in mild nights
Vaulted upon the hills and sought this earth?
Reveal that which I fear ye cannot tell,
Wherein ye are not I, wherein ye dwell
Where I can never come.
What boots it that I do regard ye so?
Does it make suns to shine or crops to grow?
What boots [it] that I never should forget
That I have sisters sitting for me yet?
And what are sisters?
The robust man, who can so stoutly strive,
In this bleak world is hardly kept alive.
And who is it protects ye, smooths your way?