Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Rachel Lyman Field

The Visitor

Feather-footed and swift as a mouse

An elfin gentleman came to our house;

Knocked his wee brown knuckles upon our door;

Bowed till his peaked cap swept the floor.

His shiny eyes blinked bright at me

As he asked for bread and a sup of tea,

"And plenty of honey, please," he said,

"For I'm fond of honey on my bread!"

Cross-legged he sat, with never a word,

But the old black kettle sang like a bird;

The red geranium burst in bloom

With the blaze of firelight in the room,

The china rattled on every shelf,

And the broom danced merrily all by itself.

Quick to the pantry then I ran

For to serve that elfin gentleman.

I brewed him tea, I brought him bread

With clover honey thickly spread.

One sip he took, one Elfin bite,

But his ears they twitched with sheer delight.

He smacked his lips and he smiled at me.

"May good luck follow you, child!" said he.

He circled me round like a gay green flame

Before he was off the way he came,

Leaving me there in the kitchen dim,

Sighing and staring after him,

With the fire low and the tea grown cold,

And the moon through the window sharp and old,

Only before me—instead of honey,

That bread was golden with thick-spread money!