The Hillside Door
by Edmund Clarence Stedman
Sometimes within my hand
A Spirit puts the silver key
From the dark, barren heath he beckons me,
Till by that hidden hillside door,
Where bards have passed before,
I seem to stand.
The portal opens wide:
In, through the wondrous, lighted halls,
Voiceless I glide
Where tinkling music magically falls,
And fair in fountained gardens move
The heroes, blest with love
Then by the meadows green,
Down winding walks of elf and fay,
I pass unseen:
There rest the valiant chieftains wreathed with bay;
Here maidens to their lovers cling,
And happy minstrels sing,
Praising their queen.
For where yon pillars are,
Aid birds with tuneful voices call,
There shines a star, --
The crown she wears, the Fairy Queen of all!
Led to that inmost, wooded haunt
By maidens ministrant,
I halt afar.
O joy! she sees me stand
Doubting, and calls me near her throne,
And waves her wand,
As in my dreams, and smiles on me alone.
O royal beauty, proud and sweet!
I bow me at her feet
To kiss that hand:
Ah woe! ah, fate malign!
By what a rude, revengeful gust,
From that fair shrine
Which holds my sovran mistress I am thrust!
Then comes a mocking voice's taunt
Crying, Thou fool, avaunt!
She is not thine!
And I am backward borne
By unseen awful hands, and cast,
In utter scorn,
Forth from that brightness to the midnight blast:
Not mine the minstrel-lover's wreath,
But the dark, barren heath,
And heart forlorn.
Source:The Blameless Prince, And Other Poems
Fields, Osgood, and Co., Boston