Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
24. The Wife from Fairyland
 
By Richard Le Gallienne
 
 
HER talk was all of woodland things,
  Of little lives that pass
Away in one green afternoon,
  Deep in the haunted grass;
 
For she had come from fairyland,        5
  The morning of a day
When the world that still was April
  Was turning into May.
 
Green leaves and silence and two eyes—
  ’T was so she seemed to me,        10
A silver shadow of the woods,
  Whisper and mystery.
 
I looked into her woodland eyes,
  And all my heart was hers,
And then I led her by the hand        15
  Home up my marble stairs;
 
And all my granite and my gold
  Was hers for her green eyes,
And all my sinful heart was hers
  From sunset to sunrise;        20
 
I gave her all delight and ease
  That God had given to me,
I listened to fulfill her dreams,
  Rapt with expectancy.
 
But all I gave, and all I did,        25
  Brought but a weary smile
Of gratitude upon her face;
  As though a little while,
 
She loitered in magnificence
  Of marble and of gold        30
And waited to be home again
  When the dull tale was told.
 
Sometimes, in the chill galleries,
  Unseen, she deemed, unheard,
I found her dancing like a leaf        35
  And singing like a bird.
 
So lone a thing I never saw
  In lonely earth or sky,
So merry and so sad a thing,
  One sad, one laughing, eye.        40
 
There came a day when on her heart
  A wildwood blossom lay,
And the world that still was April
  Was turning into May.
 
In the green eyes I saw a smile        45
  That turned my heart to stone:
My wife that came from fairyland
  No longer was alone.
 
For there had come a little hand
  To show the green way home,        50
Home through the leaves, home through the dew,
  Home through the greenwood—home.
 

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