Alfred Noyes

Here you will find the Poem The Elfin Artist of poet Alfred Noyes

The Elfin Artist

In a glade of an elfin forest 
When Sussex was Eden-new, 
I came on an elvish painter 
And watched as his picture grew, 
A harebell nodded beside him. 
He dipt his brush in the dew. 
And it might be the wild thyme round him 
That shone in the dark strange ring; 
But his brushes were bees' antennae, 
His knife was a wasp's blue sting; 
And his gorgeous exquisite palette 
Was a butterfly's fan-shaped wing. 
And he mingled its powdery colours, 
And painted the lights that pass, 
On a delicate cobweb canvas 
That gleamed like a magic glass, 
And bloomed like a banner of elf-land, 
Between two stalks of grass; 
Till it shone like an angel's feather 
With sky-born opal and rose, 
And gold from the foot of the rainbow, 
And colours that no man knows; 
And I laughed in the sweet May weather, 
Because of the themes he chose. 
For he painted the things that matter, 
The tints that we all pass by, 
Like the little blue wreaths of incense 
That the wild thyme breathes to the sky; 
Or the first white bud of the hawthorn, 
And the light in a blackbird's eye; 
And the shadows on soft white cloud-peaks 
That carolling skylarks throw,-- 
Dark dots on the slumbering splendours 
That under the wild wings flow, 
Wee shadows like violets trembling 
On the unseen breasts of snow; 
With petals too lovely for colour 
That shake to the rapturous wings, 
And grow as the bird draws near them, 
And die as he mounts and sings,-- 
Ah, only those exquisite brushes 
Could paint these marvellous things.