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Vainly, vainly have I sought her,
Watching all the long bright daytime--
She, the mossy Orchard's daughter,
Waking only in the May-time!

 

Sleeps she null to winter's rigor,
Null to frost or sleet-wind's scourges;
Draws with buds a hidden vigor,
And with opening buds emerges.

 

When the blossoms crowd in wonder,
On the branches gnarled and hoary,
And the grass grows long thereunder,
Then she comes in baffling glory!

 

There be those that do attend her,
And they list to do her pleasure;
She hath touched them with her splendor,
And hath given joy past measure:

 

One--the oriole, darting quickly,
(Voice of rapture clear Elysian!)
Glimpsed through flower glooms crowding thickly,
Flame bright, wing├Ęd, fleeting vision!

 

Elfland minstrels, too, are bidden,
And they share her nectared chalice--
Forest swarm or hive bees, hidden
In her flower-wove hanging palace.

 

These attend and serve her ever--
Vainly, vainly I have sought her;
Though I watch, I see her never--
She, the mossy Orchard's daughter!