Airy, Fairy Lilian,

Flitting, fairy Lilian,

When I ask her if she love me,

Claps her tiny hands above me,

Laughing all she can;

She ‘ll not tell me if she love me,

Cruel little Lilian.


When my passion seeks

Pleasance in love-sighs,

She, looking thro’ and thro’ me

Thoroughly to undo me,

Smiling, never speaks:

So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,

From beneath her gathered wimple

Glancing with black-bearded eyes,

Till the lightning laughters dimple

The baby-roses in her cheeks;

Then away she flies.


Prythee weep, May Lilian!

Gaiety without eclipse

Whearieth me, May Lilian;

Thro’ my every heart it thrilleth

When from crimson-threaded lips

Silver-treble laughter trilleth:

Prythee weep, May Lilian!


Praying all I can,

If prayers will not hush thee,

Airy Lilian,

Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,

Fairy Lilian.





Lord Alfred Tennyson

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