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1. Fairy-land

Dim vales — and shadowy floods — 

And cloudy-looking woods, 

Whose forms we can’t discover 

For the tears that drip all over. 

Huge moons there wax and wane — 

Again — again — again — 

Every moment of the night — 

Forever changing places — 

And they put out the star-light 

With the breath from their pale faces. 

About twelve by the moon-dial 

One more filmy than the rest 

(A kind which, upon trial, 

They have found to be the best) 

Comes down — still down — and down 

With its centre on the crown 

Of a mountain’s eminence, 

While its wide circumference 

In easy drapery falls 

Over hamlets, over halls, 

Wherever they may be — 

O’er the strange woods — o’er the sea — 

Over spirits on the wing — 

Over every drowsy thing — 

And buries them up quite 

In a labyrinth of light — 

And then, how deep! — O, deep! 

Is the passion of their sleep. 

In the morning they arise, 

And their moony covering 

Is soaring in the skies, 

With the tempests as they toss, 

Like — almost any thing — 

Or a yellow Albatross. 

They use that moon no more 

For the same end as before — 

Videlicet a tent — 

Which I think extravagant: 

Its atomies, however, 

Into a shower dissever, 

Of which those butterflies, 

Of Earth, who seek the skies, 

And so come down again 

(Never-contented things!) 

Have brought a specimen 

Upon their quivering wings. 


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