when I was young,

we dwelt in a vale by a misty fen that rang all night, and thus it was the maidens pale I knew so well, whose garments trail across the reeds to a window light

each came singly unto her place,

but all came every night with the mist; and often they brought so much to say of things of moment to which, they wist, one so lonely was fain to list, that the stars were almost faded away

and thus it is I know so well

why the flower has odor, the bird has song. you have only to ask me, and I can tell. no, not vainly there did I dwell, nor vainly listen all the night long