Never by cliff and gnarlèd tree
Wound fairy path so sweet to me;
Yet of the native shepherds none,
In open day and cheerful sun,
Will tread its labyrinths alone.
Far less when evening's pensive hour
Hushes the bird and shuts the flower,
And gives to fancy magic power
O'er each familiar tower.
For round their hearths they'll tell this tale,
And every listener swears it true;
How wanders there a phantom pale
With spirit-eyes of dreamy blue.
It always walks with head declined,
The long curls wave not in the wind;
Its face is fair—divinely fair;
But always on that angel brow
Rests such a shade of deep despair,
As nought divine could ever know.
How oft in twilight lingering lone,
I've stood to watch that phantom rise,
And seen in mist and moonlit stone,
Its gleaming hair and solemn eyes.