The garden was pleasant with old-fashioned flowers,
The sunflowers and hollyhocks stood up like towers;
There were dark turncap lilies and jessamine rare,
And sweet thyme and marjoram scented the air.
The moon made the sun-dial tell the time wrong;
’Twas too late in the year for the nightingale’s song;
The box-trees were clipped, and the alleys were straight,
Till you came to the shrubbery hard by the gate.
The fairies stepped out of the lavender beds,
With mob-caps, or wigs, on their quaint little heads;
My lord had a sword and my lady a fan;
The music struck up and the dancing began.
I watched them go through with a grave minuet;
Wherever they footed the dew was not wet;
They bowed and they curtsied, the brave and the fair;
And laughter like chirping of crickets was there.
Then all on a sudden a church clock struck loud:
A flutter, a shiver, was seen in the crowd,
The cock crew, the wind woke, the trees tossed their heads,
And the fairy folk hid in the lavender beds.