Light the fire, sweetheart. I am cold,
cold and wet to the skin.
I have been chasing, over hill and dale,
a ewe that heard a wild dog wail
and would not come in.
Then why are you wearing dancing-slippers,
spotted with clay?
I heard a wind in the willows,
tossing them all day,
so I dreamed that I was dancing
like the trees, and began prancing
about the house, in play.
And why are flowers tucked into the waistband
of your dress, my sweet?
I passed a patch of poppies while walking in the wheat
and took the scarlet to adorn me.
Surely, love, you cannot scorn me,
looking so neat?
You are lovely, but the golden ringlets of your hair
are tangled and wild.
Did I not tell? I met in the meadow
an enchanting child,
who caught her hands in my tresses
while giving me soft caresses
that soothed and beguiled.
You answer calmly, my dear, but your eyes
are strangely aglow.
And what is there in that?
A moment ago
I saw your face in the glass,
and I think me a lucky lass
to have caught such a fellow.
He lit the fire and went out
to pen the ewe
while the flames changed the white of her cheek
to a ruddy hue.
Then she rose and put on a cauldron,
and when he appeared
he wondered at the vigor
with which she stirred and stirred.
The Elf King’s Daughter
It is the Elf King’s daughter,
with the leaf-light in her eyes,
that greenish twilight beneath the beech boughs
where only the hum of flies
disturbs the lilies of the valley
and ferns their fronds unfurl.
How dare I stir or show my presence
to the Elf King’s girl?
She sits so still upon the boulder,
the leaf-light in her hair
casting a greenish pall on its goldness.
at her small feet shod in leaf-green velvet,
her small hands pale and fay,
among the wood anemones
in early May.