Poems: Old and New

by Frederick George Scott


 

THE SPRITE .


 

A LITTLE sprite sat on a moonbeam,
   When the night was waning away,
And over the world to the eastward
   Had spread the first flush of the day.
The moonbeam was cold and slippery,
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    And a fat little fairy was he;
Around him the white clouds were sleeping,
   And under him slumbered the sea.

Then the old moon looked out of her left eye,
    And laughed when she thought of the fun,

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For she knew that the moonbeam he sat on
   Would soon melt away in the sun;
So she gave a slight shrug of her shoulder,
   And winked at a bright little star—
The moon was remarkably knowing,
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   As old people always are. [Page 124]

“Great madam,” then answered the fairy,
   “No doubt you are mightily wise,
And know possibly more than another
    Of the ins and the outs of the skies.

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But to think that we don’t in our own way
    An interest in sky-things take,
Is a common and fatal blunder
   That sometimes you great ones make.

“For I’ve looked up from under the heather,

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   And watched you night after night,
And marked your silent motion,
   And the fall of your silvery light.
I have seen you grow larger and larger,
   I have watched you fade away;
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I have seen you turn pale as a snowdrop
    At the sudden approach of day.

“So don’t think for a moment, great madam,
   Tho’ a poor little body I be,
That I haven’t my sense about me,

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   Or am going to drop into the sea.
I have had what you only could give me— [Page 125]
    A pleasant night ride in the sky;
But a new power arises to eastward,
    So, useless old lady, good-bye.”
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He whistled a low sweet whistle,
    And up from the earth so dark,
With its wings bespangled with dewdrops,
   There bounded a merry lark.
He’s mounted the tiny singer,

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   And soared through the heavens away,
With his face all aglow in the morning,
    And a song for the rising day. [Page 126]