merry be the greenwood, while the world is yet young

Here, in cool grot and mossy cell,

We rural fays and faeries dwell;

Though rarely seen by mortal eye,

When the pale Moon, ascending high,

Darts through yon lines her quivering beams,

We frisk it near these crystal streams.

 

Her beams, reflected from the wave,

Afford the light our revels crave;

Exceeds, we wot, the Parian floor;

Nor yet for artful strains we call,

But listen to the water’s fall.

 

Would you then taste our tranquil scene,

Be sure your bosoms be serene:

Devoid of hate, devoid of strife,

Devoid of all that poisons life:

And much it ‘vails you, in their place

To graft the love of human race.

 

And tread with awe these favor’d bowers,

Nor wound the shrubs, or bruise the flowers;

So may your path with sweets abound;

So may your couch with rest be crown’d!

But harm betide the wayward swain,

Who dares our hoallow’d haunts profane!

 

-Shenstone

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