'Tis the hour of fairy ban and spell:
The wood-tick has kept the minutes well;
He has counted them all with click and stroke,
Deep in the heart of the mountain oak,
And he has awakened the sentry elve
Who sleeps with him in the haunted tree,
To bid him ring the hour of twelve,
And call the fays to their revelry;
Twelve small strokes on his tinkling bell—
('T was made of the white snail's pearly shell)—
"Midnight comes, and all is well!
Hither, hither, wing your way!
'Tis the dawn of the fairy-day."