There stands by the wood-path shaded
A meek little beggar maid;
Close under her mantle faded;
She is hidden like one afraid.
Yet if you but lifted lightly
That mantle of russet brown,
She would spring up slender and sightly,
In a smoke-blue silken gown.
For she is a princess, fated,
Disguised in the wood to dwell,
And all her life long has awaited
The touch that should break the spell;
And the Oak, that has cast around her
His root like a wrinkled arm,
Is the wild old wizard that bound her
Fast with his cruel charm.
Is the princess worth your knowing?
Art by Arthur Herbert Buckland