VI. What the Gray-winged Fairy Said

The moon's a gong, hung in the wild,

Whose song the fays hold dear.

Of course you do not hear it, child.

It takes a FAIRY ear.

The full moon is a splendid gong

That beats as night grows still.

It sounds above the evening song

Of dove or whippoorwill.

VII. Yet Gentle will the Griffin Be

(What Grandpa told the Children)

The moon? It is a griffin's egg,

Hatching to-morrow night.

And how the little boys will watch

With shouting and delight

To see him break the shell and stretch

And creep across the sky.

The boys will laugh. The little girls,

I fear, may hide and cry.

Yet gentle will the griffin be,

Most decorous and fat,

And walk up to the milky way

And lap it like a cat.

Second Section: The Moon is a Mirror

I. Prologue. A Sense of Humor

No man should stand before the moon

To make sweet song thereon,

With dandified importance,

His sense of humor gone.

Nay, let us don the motley cap,

The jester's chastened mien,

If we would woo that looking-glass

And see what should be seen.

O mirror on fair Heaven's wall,

We find there what we bring.

So, let us smile in honest part

And deck our souls and sing.

Yea, by the chastened jest alone

Will ghosts and terrors pass,

And fays, or suchlike friendly things,

Throw kisses through the glass.

II. On the Garden-wall

Oh, once I walked a garden

In dreams. 'Twas yellow grass.

And many orange-trees grew there

In sand as white as glass.

The curving, wide wall-border

Was marble, like the snow.

I walked that wall a fairy-prince

And, pacing quaint and slow,

Beside me were my pages,

Two giant, friendly birds.

Half-swan they were, half peacock.

They spake in courtier-words.

Their inner wings a chariot,

Their outer wings for flight,

They lifted me from dreamland.

We bade those trees good-night.

Swiftly above the stars we rode.

I looked below me soon.

The white-walled garden I had ruled

Was one lone flower -- the moon.

III. Written for a Musician

Hungry for music with a desperate hunger

I prowled abroad, I threaded through the town;

The evening crowd was clamoring and drinking,

Vulgar and pitiful -- my heart bowed down --

Till I remembered duller hours made noble

By strangers clad in some surprising grace.

Wait, wait, my soul, your music comes ere midnight

Appearing in some unexpected place

With quivering lips, and gleaming, moonlit face.

IV. The Moon is a Painter

He coveted her portrait.

He toiled as she grew gay.

She loved to see him labor

In that devoted way.

And in the end it pleased her,

But bowed him more with care.

Her rose-smile showed so plainly,

Her soul-smile was not there.

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