This poem was publishd in a 1915 „Oxford poetry” book
by J.R.R. Tolkien (Exeter)
I am off down the road
Where the fairy lanterns glowed
And the little pretty flittermice are flying :
A slender band of grey
It runs creepily away
And the hedges and the grasses are a-sighing.
The air is full of wings,
And of blundering beetle-things
That warn you with their whirring and their humming.
O ! I hear the tiny horns
Of enchanted leprechauns
And the padding feet of many gnomes a-coming !
O ! the lights ; O ! the gleams ; O ! the little tinkly sound;
O ! the rustle of their noiseless little robes ;
O ! the echo of their feet—of their little happy feet ;
O ! their swinging lamps in little starlit globes.
I must follow in their train
Down the crooked fairy lane
Where the coney-rabbits long ago have gone,
And where silverly they sing
In a moving moonlit ring
All a-twinkle with the jewels they have on.
They are fading round the turn
Where the glow-worms palely burn
And the echo of their padding feet is dying !
O ! it’s knocking at my heart
Let me go ! O ! let me start !
For the little magic hours are all a-flying.
O ! the warmth ! O ! the hum ! O ! the colours in the dark !
O ! the gauzy wings of golden honey-flies !
O ! the music of their feet—of their dancing goblin feet !
O ! the magic ! O ! the sorrow when it dies.