A Folk Song

Jessie Mackay
Kiwi
1864 – 1938

 

I came to your town, my love,
And you were away, away!
I said “She is with the Queen’s maidens:
They tarry long at their play.
They are stringing her words like pearls
To throw to the dukes and earls.”
But O, the pity!
I had but a morn of windy red
To come to the town where you were bred,
And you were away, away!

I came to your town, my love,
And you were away, away!
I said, “She is with the mountain elves
And misty and fair as they.
They are spinning a diamond net
To cover her curls of jet.”
But O, the pity!
I had but a noon of searing heat
To come to your town, my love, my sweet,
And you were away, away!

I came to your town, my love,
And you were away, away!
I said, “She is with the pale white saints,
And they tarry long to pray.
They give her a white lily-crown,
And I fear she will never come down.”
But O, the pity!
I had but an even grey and wan
To come to your town and plead as man,
And you were away, away!

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