Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)

The Fairy Queen Sleeping

WE have been o’er land and sea,

Seeking lovely dreams for thee,—

Where is there we have not been

Gathering gifts for our sweet queen?

We are come with sound and sight

Fit for fairy’s sleep to-night:

First around thy couch shall sweep

Odors such as roses weep

When the earliest spring rain

Calls them into life again;

Next upon thine ear shall float

Many a low and silver note

Stolen from a dark-eyed maid,

When her lover’s serenade,

Rising as the stars grew dim,

Wakened from her thoughts of him;

There shall steal o’er lip and cheek

Gales, but all too light to break

Thy soft rest,—such gales as hide

All day orange-flowers inside,

Or that, through hot noontide, dwell

In the purple hyacinth bell;

And before thy sleeping eyes

Shall come glorious pageantries,—

Palaces of gems and gold

Such as dazzle to behold,

Gardens in which every tree

Seems a world of bloom to be,

Fountains whose clear waters show

The white pearls that lie below.

During slumber’s magic reign

Other times shall live again:

First thou shalt be young and free

In thy days of liberty,

Then again be wooed and won

By thy stately Oberon;

Or thou shalt descend to earth,

And see all of mortal birth—

No, that world’s too full of care

For e’en dreams to linger there.—

But behold, the sun is set,

And the diamond coronet

Of the young moon is on high

Waiting for our revelry;

And the dew is on the flower,

And the stars proclaim our hour:

Long enough thy rest has been,—

Wake, Titania, wake, our queen!