Ammon Wrigley - "The Fairy Etcher"

The following is a transcription of a work by Saddleworth poet Ammon Wrigley (1861-1946).

The Fairy Etcher

Frost Pictures on the Window Panes

A fairy stood on my window sill
One starry winter’s night,
When hill and dale lay deathly still
In ghostly shrouds of white.
And on the window panes she drew,
With skilled and dainty hand,
The scenes that she loved and knew
In far-off fairy land.
One pane showed high some mountain crags,
By sullen tempest piled!
And standing there, some antlered stags
Looked out across the wild.
And one seemed glorious with the dawn,
With level beams outspread!
Along a breezy upland lawn
That feet of shepherds tread.
And one a farmstead seemed to show,
Amid long fields of wheat!
A broad highway ran down below,
By copse and orchard sweet.
And there a woodland ran to riot
With feathery bracken fronds!
’Mid leafy bramble and the quiet
Of reed encircled ponds.
A sleeping hamlet backed by cliffs
And stormy winter moors:
The cold white snow, in heavy drifts,
Lay deep about its doors.
And one fair hill with rounded sweep,
And knots of coppice trees;
And out beyond, a silvery steep
Dipped down to lonely seas.
One pane had strange unearthly shapes
In wild fantastic dance!
Centaurs and dragons, elfs and apes,
From realms of old romance.
And one was thronged with angel wings,
Down swooping in their flight!
And shapely heads, with shining rings
Of everlasting light.
And one had warriors, mailed and tall,
And plumed cavaliers!
While bristling up a castle wall—
A multitude of spears.
And one a stretch of ocean shore,
With pools and shells and sand!
Where one lone figure stood and wore
The light of holy land.
One pane was wrought with scrollwork fair,
Like some cathedral choir!
With sculptured columns, white and rare,
And sainted windows all afire.
For lo, the morning sun had sent,
Upon the panes, a ruddy beam,
And one by one the pictures went—
Like faces in a dream.