THE PIXIES’ PLOT
(A pleasant maxim of old time directed the gardener to leave one corner as nature planned it, for the little people. Thus welcomed, they might be trusted to show their human hosts goodwill, friendship, and service.)
You have it, or you have it not:The cantle of the Pixies’ plot,Where never spade nor hoe shall plyTo break that treasured sanctity.Touch no bloom there; uproot no weed;Let what will blow.Suffer the thistle, briar and thorn to grow,The dandelion to seed.Though full the garden of your mind,Well planted on a soil that’s kind;Your hedges gay, your borders clean,Your seasons fair, your clime serene,Yet trammel not the Pixies’ mite,For well-comingChance little, wandering, weary, fairy thingLost in the dim owl-light.Still virgin, free and set apart,Ordain one dingle of your heart,Where visions home and wing to youThe golden dreams that might come true.Herein a gentler dawn than dayShall often breakFor foot-sore spirits, tired of reason’s ache,And children come to play.
When chafers drone their litanyAnd pray, “Oh, Father, grant that weFrom airy-mouse delivered be,”Go seek the charm.Under the sky, when a star shoots,Beneath an oak, when the owl hoots,Gather ye simples, dig ye rootsFor the rare charm.That glassy ghost upon a thorn–The raiment of a snake outworn–Must backward through the dark be borneTo feed the charm.A glow-worm–she whose gentle lightGlimmers green-gold through a blue nightBeside the churchyard aconite–Shall help the charm.One willow from the cradle takeWhere a boy baby lies awake,And splinters off a coffin breakTo build the charm.A tarnished silver chalice bring,Dead gossips gave at christening,And dip the moonlight from a springTo crown the charm.This much, God wot, a child might do,Yet all must fail if haply youLack a child’s faith, so trusting, true,To bless the charm.Many the spells of high degreeAnd fruitful happiness I seeAll lost, for faith to set them freeAnd work the charm.
The harp of night had silver strings,The moon was low, the stars burned dim,When from a wood, with roaring wings,Joe flushed a brace of cherubim.His eye did bulge at sign so braveTo see the shining angels pass;Then, happening beside her grave,He met his dead and buried ass!She’d broke a leg and so was slainAnd buried here a week ago;Now, all alive and sound again,She brayed with joy to welcome Joe!A holy cross that donkeys bear,Since Jesus Christ did deign to ride,The cherubs tempted to repairThat ancient beast in bone and hide.The harp of morn had golden stringsEre home they came–Joe’s ass and he;And when their neighbours heard these thingsThey praised the Lord right heartily.
Categories: English Literature