She told me fairies lived among
The ferns and vines along the brook
Where dew and moonlight might have clung
If children wandered there to look.
And Janey had, or so she said,
And found the fairies bright and fey
Within the moonbeams’ silver thread,
Within the dewdrops' disarray.
Translucent wings, she said they had,
And silken hair of golden hue.
Their little houses, ivy-clad,
Were hidden from a passer’s view.
But Janey found them just the same
And kept the secret in her dreams.
Ten she saw, and one whose name
Was Janey, just like hers, it seems.
She told me this one summer’s eve,
And held my hand through nearing dark
Across a path to interweave
With ferns and vines and mossy bark.
My daughter asked if I believed
That fairies might reveal themselves.
Perhaps my Janey’s been deceived,
To give her hopes to imps and elves.
But follow her I did that night,
And thankful for our evening out.
A game, I thought, unreal, despite
The glow of fireflies roundabout.
And on she led, my child of eight,
Until we heard the lilting sound
That water over stones create—
But Janey said, “The Fairy Ground.”
She sat me on a stone of gray,
And told me wait, and to believe,
And soon, she said, before the day,
I’d see what some could not conceive.
Upon the breeze, a tinkling ring,
And moonlit mist, opaque and still.
Odd, the things that night will bring,
Imaginings that warm and chill.
For in the glade I saw the shine
Of fairy lights that danced on air
And gilded all with golden twine,
And made their presence everywhere.
My Janey sat among the ten
And blithely held them on her knee
And in her hair and hands, and then
She smiled and looked at only me.
I saw that night, and shan’t forget,
The tiny prints in fairy dust,
But more than that, and stronger yet,
I learned to give my child my trust.