The Stratagem

Here's the cave where Sorrow dwells
Weeping in his courts of yew!
Foot then lightly in these dells,
Let not plash one drop of dew;
Bring your chains of pimpernels,
Bring your silvery honeydew.

Lay your nets deliciously,
Set the bait in that sweet beam —
One grey tear to lure him by
When he wakens from his dream,
And the breath of a faint sigh,
That shall ev'n less be than seem.

Hide you, hide you, not a note,
From the little birds you are!
Let not the least laughter float
Near or far, near or far!
See he wakens! scare him not —
Wild with weeping as a star.

Hie away, ah, hie away!
Woe is all, see, how the sun
Ruddies through his filmy grey,
Turns to light the dreaming one —
Mist and dew of a Spring day
Trembling a night-nothing on.

Fold your nets and mew your bait!
Come, sweet spirits, how shall we
Watch, and never ending, wait
For a wraith of transiency?
Fly ere yet the day grow late,
Else we too grow shadowy!
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