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The Fairy Goldsmith Elinor Wylie









The Fairy Goldsmith
Elinor Wylie


'HERE'S a wonderful thing,
A humming-bird's wing
In hammered gold,
And store well chosen
Of snowflakes frozen
In crystal cold.
Black onyx cherries
And mistletoe berries
Of chrysoprase,
Jade buds, tight shut,
All carven and cut
In intricate ways.
Here, if you please
Are little gilt bees
In amber drops
Which look like honey,
Translucent and sunny,
From clover-tops.
Here's an elfin girl
Of mother-of-pearl
And moonshine made,
With tortise-shell hair
Both dusky and fair
In its light and shade.
Here's lacquer laid thin,
Like a scarlet skin
On an ivory fruit;
And a filigree frost
Of frail notes lost
From a fairy lute.
Here's a turquoise chain
Of sun-shower rain
To wear if you wish;
And glittering green
With aquamarine,
A silvery fish.
Here are pearls all strung
On a thread among
Pretty pink shells;
And bubbles blown
From the opal stone
Which ring like bells.
Touch them and take them,
But do not break them!
Beneath your hand
They will wither like foam
If you carry them home
Out of fairy-land.
O, they never can last
Though you hide them fast
From moth and from rust;
In your monstrous day
They will crumble away
Into quicksilver dust.