July 6th 1811
Hither with fleetest wing repair
Ye sprites that rule the realms of air
Whether in Phoebus radiance bright
Ye weave your robes of varying light
The Earth with smiles benignant cheer
And clothe with fruits the opening year
Or weep in soft ambrosial showers
The balm that fills the fields with flowers
Bid lightning flash and thunder roll
Or fire with quivering lights the pole
Oh come, to hail in festive lay,
A sister Sylphid’s natal day.
When summer fires the sultry air
For her your freshest gales prepare
When winter’s cold benumbs the sense
To her your kindly warmth dispense.
Ye fays by gifted eyes oft seen
To dance upon the moonlight green
Near where some antique tower appears
And frowns in all the pride of years
Once thronged with knights and damsels fair
Faithful in love, and bold in war
Or near some neat tho’ lowly cot,
Where past some bard his happy lot,
Blest with the maid his soul held dear,
And children like the morning fair,
A cheerful heart, devoid of guile,
And every Muse’s favouring smile.
There still the aged laurel stands,
Once planted by his youthful hands
While the famed tree of Phoebus near
Affection’s rose still blossoms fair —
Then haste, to hail in festive lay,
A sister fairy’s natal day.
For her your finest, sweetest flowers,
Bring from your never-fading bowers
Of these a fragrant wreath compose,
To twine around her smiling brows
And when the lawn she deigned to tread
Let flowers beneath her feet be spread
And when she walks in Cynthia’s light
Oh give your forms to bless her sight.
Ye Nine that on Parnassus brows,
Your songs of deathless fame compose
Or wander thro’ each sacred shade
Where once your antient votaries strayed.
And o’er the graves of those most dear,
Still drop the soft embalming tear,
(Lo, from those tears, of brightest dyes,
Fresh flowers shall o’er their ashes rise.)
Thence come, to hail in festive lay,
A favoured votary’s natal day.
Oh still as wont, her song inspire,
With all your soft Ætherial fire
Tender yet sprightly, sweet and gay
Still let it animate her lay.
And with your smiles oh let me send,
The ardent wishes of a friend,
Of her who framed this artless lay,
A sister sylph, a sister fay,
A sister votary of the Nine,
Let her each friendly wish combine,
Which tho’ ’tis not recorded here
Is not less lively, less sincere.
And oh may dearest Moth approve,
This trifling mark of Stella’s love.