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Many Voices

by E. Nesbit

previous: POEM: THE RETURN


You see the fairies dancing in the fountain,
Laughing, leaping, sparkling with the spray;
You see the gnomes, at work beneath the mountain,
Make gold and silver and diamonds every day;
You see the angels, sliding down the moonbeams,
Bring white dreams like sheaves of lilies fair;
You see the imps, scarce seen against the moonbeams,
Rise from the bonfire's blue and liquid air.

All the enchantment, all the magic there is
Hid in trees and blossoms, to you is plain and true.
Dewdrops in lupin leaves are jewels for the fairies;
Every flower that blows is a miracle for you.
Air, earth, water, fire, spread their splendid wares for you.
Millions of magics beseech your little looks;
Every soul your winged soul meets, loves you and cares for you.
Ah! why must we clip those wings and dim those eyes with books?

Soon, soon enough the magic lights grow dimmer,
Marsh mists arise to cloud the radiant sky,
Dust of hard highways will veil the starry glimmer,
Tired hands will lay the folded magic by.
Storm winds will blow through those enchanted closes,
Fairies be crushed where weed and briar grow strong . . .
Leave her her crown of magic stars and roses,
Leave her her kingdom - she will not keep it long!

Turn to the next chapter: POEM: QUESTIONS

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