Ballad of the Butterfly

02-28 Walsh
María Elena Walsh
Argentine
1930 – 2011

A butterfly once bestowed her passion
Upon a sailor – in her fashion
Flitting about the hotel gate
Waiting, ecstatic, to follow her mate
Upon his white cap to alight
Then onto his white ship,
at dizzying height
She flew to the vessel’s
high-reaching stack
At her first glimpse of ocean
quite taken aback.
On him she lavished all the rapture
Her brief day’s span of life
could capture
Singing: O lovely Sailor!
O Sailor, my love
Our happiness lights
the heavens above
In the afternoon as the sun sank low
From the sailor’s eyes
sad tears did flow
So to distract him from his sorrow
She danced in the air without
thought of the morrow.
From the white masts
she drifted away
As a mighty gust interrupted
her play.
Into the gray sea she fell and drowned
The stalwart sailor heard not a sound
But all unaware a salty tear
Rolled down his cheek,
though he felt no fear,
Marking the end of the love so true
Of the butterfly and the lad in blue.

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