The day is dull and dreary,
And chilly winds and eerie
Are sweeping through the tall oak trees that fringe the orchard lane.
They send the dead leaves flying,
And with a mournful crying
They dash the western window-panes with slanting lines of rain.
My little ’Trude and Teddy,
Come quickly and make ready,
Take down from off the highest shelf the book you think so grand.
We’ll travel off together,
To lands of golden weather,
For well we know the winding road that leads to Fairy Land.
A long, long road, no byway,
The fairy kings’ broad highway,
Sometimes we’ll see a castled hill stand up against the blue,
And every brook that passes,
A-whispering through the grasses,
Is just a magic fountain filled with youth and health for you;
And we’ll meet fair princesses
With shining golden tresses,
Some pacing by on palfreys white, some humbly tending sheep;
And merchants homeward faring,
With goods beyond comparing,
And in the hills are robber bands, who dwell in caverns deep.
Sometimes the road ascending,
Around a mountain bending,
Will lead us to the forests dark, and there among the pines
Live woodmen, to whose dwelling
Come wicked witches, telling
Of wondrous gifts of golden wealth. There, too, are lonely mines.
But busy gnomes have found them,
And all night work around them,
And sometimes leave a bag of gold at some poor cottage door.
There waterfalls are splashing,
And down the rocks are dashing,
But we can hear the sprites’ clear call above the torrent’s roar.
Where quiet rivers glisten
We’ll sometimes stop and listen
To tales a gray old hermit tells, or wandering minstrel’s song.
We’ll loiter by the ferries,
And pluck the wayside berries,
And watch the gallant knights spur by in haste to right a wrong.
Oh, little ’Trude and Teddy,
For wonders, then, make ready,
You’ll see a shining gateway, and, within, a palace grand,
Of elfin realm the center;
But pause before you enter
To pity all good folk who’ve missed the road to Fairy Land.