Idle tales the old folk tell, Tales they scarce believe themselves, Of green fairies in the dell, And upon the hill grey elves, Of strange misty shapes at night, In moon-dark, in moonlight. Idle tales, - yet many things Happen under stars or moon, Dreamy, glamour, flutterings, Laughed at in the light of noon, But not laughable at night, In moon-dark, or moonlight. Even to me there once appeared, Half-way down a narrow vale, Many moon-maids, heavy-haired, Slender-formed and misty pale, Dancing light in the night, Made of shadow and moonlight. With a spell of waving arms, Woven as wily wizard weaves, Low they murmured fairy charms, Or wind murmured through the leaves, So it seemed to me that night, Dazzled by the white moonlight. Gleamed the weight of midnight hair, On their foreheads moonlight wan, Wondrous slender, wondrous fair, Then they seemed to be all gone, For one sees not right at night, In moon-dark, or moonlight. Often I have left my rest, For to seek them once again, One among them pleased me best, But I seek them all in vain, For they come not any night, By moon-dark, by moonlight.