William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

The Fairy Pendant


Scene: A circle of Druidic stones

First Fairy: Afar from our lawn and our levee,
O sister of sorrowful gaze!
Where the roses in scarlet are heavy
And dream of the end of their days,
You move in another dominion
And hang o'er the historied stone:
Unpruned in your beautiful pinion
Who wander and whisper alone.

All: Come away while the moon's in the woodland,
We'll dance and then feast in a dairy.
Though youngest of all in our good band,
You are wasting away, little fairy.

Second Fairy: Ah! cruel ones, leave me alone now
While I murmur a little and ponder
The history here in the stone now;
Then away and away I will wander,
And measure the minds of the flowers,
And gaze on the meadow-mice wary,
And number their days and their hours--

All: You're wasting away, little fairy.

Second Fairy: O shining ones, lightly with song pass,
Ah! leave me, I pray you and beg.
My mother drew forth from the long grass
A piece of a nightingle's egg,
And cradled me here where are sung,
Of birds even, longings for aery
Wild wisdoms of spirit and tongue.

All: You're wasting away, little fairy.

First Fairy [turning away]: Though the tenderest roses were round you,
The soul of this pitiless place
With pitiless magic has bound you--
Ah! woe for the loss of your face,
And the loss of your laugh with its lightness--
Ah! woe for your wings and your head--
Ah! woe for your eyes and their brightness--
Ah! woe for your slippers of red.

We'll dance and then feast in a dairy.
Though youngest of all in our good band,
She's wasting away, little fairy.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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