Riding o’er meadow and wet sea-sand,
One autumn day, in a mist of sunshine,
Joyously seeking for fairyland?The wind in the tree-tops was scarcely heard,
The streamlet repeated its one silver word,
And far away, o’er the depths of wood-land,
Floated the bell of the parson-bird.
Pale hoar-frost glittered in shady slips,
Where ferns were dipping their finger-tips,
From mossy branches a faint perfume
Breathed o’er honeyed Clematis lips.
At last we climbed to the ridge on high
Ah, crystal vision! Dreamland nigh!
Far, far below us, the wide Pacific
Slumbered in azure from sky to sky.
And cloud and shadow, across the deep
Wavered, or paused in enchanted sleep,
And eastward, the purple-misted islets
Fretted the wave with terrace and steep.
We looked on the tranquil, glassy bay,
On headlands sheeted in dazzling spray,
And the whitening ribs of a wreck forlorn
That for twenty years had wasted away.
All was so calm, and pure and fair,
It seemed the hour of worship there,
Silent, as where the great North-Minster
Rises for ever, a visible prayer.
Then we turned from the murmurous forest-land,
And rode over shingle and silver sand,
For so fair was the earth in the golden autumn,
That we sought no farther for Fairyland.