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     Their seats and their tables lying,
O'erthrown in their sudden flight.
     And they, too, have had their losses,
For we found the goblets white
     And red in the old spiked mosses,
That they drank from over-night;
     And in the pale horn of the woodbine
Was some wine left, clear and bright;
     But we found,” said the children, speaking
More quickly, “so many things,
     That we soon forgot we were seeking,—
Forgot all the Fairy rings,
     Forgot all the stories olden
That we hear round the fire at night,
     Of their gifts and their favors golden,—
The sunshine was so bright;
     And the flowers,—we found so many
That it almost made us grieve
     To think there were some, sweet as any,
That we were forced to leave;
     As we left, by the brook-side lying,
The balls of drifted foam,
     And brought (after all our trying)
These Guelder-roses home.”

“Then, oh!” I heard one speaking
     Beside me soft and low,
“I have been, like the blessed children, seeking,
     Still seeking, to and fro;
Yet not, like them, for the Fairies,—
     They might pass unmourned away
For me, that had looked on angels,—
     On angels that would not stay;
No not though in haste before them
     I spread all my heart's best cheer,
And made love my banner o'er them,
     If it might but keep them here;
They stayed but a while to rest them;
     Long, long before its close,
From my feast, though I mourned and prest them
     The radiant guests arose;
And their flitting wings struck sadness
     And silence; never more

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