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THE DRYAD, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: I was a dryad cloistered in a tree
Last Line: Between the cruel, careless world and me!
Subject(s): Dryads

I WAS a Dryad cloistered in a tree,
Nor knew it for a cell, so close and kind;
Till some one's careless fingers found the key
And set me free to sun and sky and wind.

Heigho! The outer world seemed very sweet,
For all the sunlit mysteries were new,
The tender little moss caressed my feet,
I drank of flower-wine and crystal dew.

I heard quaint stories from the birds and bees;
My cheeks were of the sun's warm kisses fain;
I joined wild frolics with the reckless breeze,
And mocked the mocking echoes back again.

But when the evening fell and all the world
Folded to rest without a thought of me,
With fear a-shiver as the dark unfurled,
I longed to shelter in the ancient tree.

The sun has gone and now my heart is cold!
My friend the breeze, grown weary with his play,
Slumbers upon the flowers; while all the gold
Has faded from the glory of the day.

O good great Oak, close me within your bark!
I droop and faint and cannot wander more.
But though through all the world I search the dark,
I cannot find my cloister's wrinkled door.

O good great Oak, let me not seek in vain
A helpless Dryad, exiled from her tree!
Ah, but to feel your clasping strength again
Between the cruel, careless world and me!

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