Selected Poems

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
    Spread the first faint flush of the day.
The moonbeam was cold and slippery,

5
    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,

10
For she knew that the moonbeam he sat on
    Would soon melt away in the sun;
So she gave a slight shrug of her shoulders,
    And winked at a bright little star—
The moon was remarkably knowing,—

15
    As old people always are. [Page 48]

‘Great Madam’, then answered the fairy,
‘No doubt you are wonderfully wise,
And know probably more than another
Of the ins and the outs of the skies.
20
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,

25
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;
30
I have seen you turn pale as a snowdrop
At the sudden approach of day.

‘So don’t think for a moment, great Madam,
Though a poor little body I be,
That I haven’t my senses about me,
35
Or am going to drop into the sea.
I have had what you only could give me—
A pleasant night ride in the sky;
But a new power arises eastward,
So now, useless old lady, good-bye.’
40

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,
45
And soared through the heavens away,
With his face all aglow in the morning,
And a song for the rising day. [Page 49]