by Alfred Tennyson, Lord (1809 - 1892)

Language: English 
Airy, Fairy Lilian,
flitting, fairy Lilian,
when I ask her if she love me,
claps her tiny hands above me,
laughing all she can;
she'll not tell me if she love me,
cruel little Lilian.

When my passion seeks
pleasance in love-sighs,
she, looking thro' and thro' me
thoroughly to undo me,
smiling, never speaks:
so innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,
from beneath her gathered wimple
glancing with black-bearded eyes,
till the lightning laughters dimple
the baby-roses in her cheeks;
then away she flies.

Prythee weep, May Lilian!
Gaiety without eclipse
wearieth me, May Lilian;
thro' my very heart it thrilleth
when from crimson-threaded lips
silver-treble laughter trilleth:
prythee weep, May Lilian!

Praying all I can,
if prayers will not hush thee,
airy Lilian,
like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,
fairy Lilian,
cruel little Lilian.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2011-06-22
Line count: 35
Word count: 138