Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLADE OF THE FOREST HAUNTERS, by THEODORE FAULLAIN DE BANVILLE



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BALLADE OF THE FOREST HAUNTERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Still do they sing, the swarm of mocking fays
Last Line: Where dian thro' the forest fareth by.
Subject(s): Forests; Goddesses & Gods; Mythology; Woods


STILL do they sing, the swarm of mocking fays
Well sheltered by the thorn and holly-leaves,
Who feel the light winds' tender, frolic ways;
And Dian still the lean wolf-pack bereaves
Of all its courage—she whose cunning weaves
A bower to hide her heart in. Many a hind
Still worships her. And when the moon doth blind
In her white splendour poured from a clear sky,
With lovely locks adrift in the still wind,
Fair Dian thro' the forest fareth by.

The water-lilies and the crispéd bays,
The chilly elf, the soft-eyed sprite that grieves,
Spin round the red dwarf in a mystic maze,
Linked hand in hand beneath the nodding leaves.
And green sylphs play the mummer, till upheaves
A tall form on the darkness half divined;
Whereon is heard long sobbing on the wind,
A sigh of grief for all things gone awry,
And dumb feet tear the ivy-stems that bind:
Fair Dian thro' the forest fareth by.

'Tis Dian seeking trophies in her chase,
That hears the groan that loud the spent stag gives,
Half-stifled; then the air's rude welcome lays
A rosy chillness on the limb that cleaves;
Her hounds, grown wroth with the loud cries she heaves,

Haste onward to her bidding swift as wind.
The Goddess tall whose fiery gaze can blind
Draws tight the bow and lets her arrows fly;
Then, shaking wide her wavy locks untwined,
Fair Dian thro' the forest fareth by.

Prince, it is time we left the dust behind,
And stony ways whereon the hard wheels grind.
In forest arbours far from human eye,
The city of our questing we may find
Where Dian thro' the forest fareth by.





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