The Death of Puck

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton


I FEAR that Puck is dead — it is so long
Since men last saw him — dead with all the rest
Of that sweet elfin crew that made their nest
In hollow huts, where hazels sing their song;
Dead and for ever, like the antique throng
The elves replaced; the Dryad that you guessed
Behind the leaves; the Naiad weed-bedressed;
The leaf-eared Faun that loved to lead you wrong.

Tell me, thou hopping Robin, hast thou met
A little man, no bigger than thyself,
Whom they call Puck, where woodland bells are wet?
Tell me, thou Wood-Mouse, hast thou seen an elf
Whom they call Puck, and is he seated yet,
Capped with a snail-shell, on his mushroom shelf?


The Robin gave three hops, and chirped, and said:
" Yes, I knew Puck, and loved him; though I trow
He mimicked oft my whistle, chuckling low;
Yes, I knew Cousin Puck; but he is dead.
We found him lying on his mushroom bed —
The Wren and I — half covered up with snow,
As we were hopping where the berries grow.
We think he died of cold. Ay, Puck is fled. "

And then the Wood-Mouse said: " We made the Mole
Dig him a little grave beneath the moss,
And four big Dormice placed him in the hole.
The Squirrel made with sticks a little cross; —
Puck was a Christian elf, and had a soul; —
And all we velvet-jackets mourn his loss. "

Last updated November 02, 2017