The night was cold, no moon did shine;
A shepherd slept away.
His quiet fire crackled light
Upon one lady’s way.

She strode on quiet and alone;
Her long cloak dark, damp blue.
She tripped upon this young boy’s feet,
And set his hat askew.

“Ho there!” he cried, and trashed about
“Who has disturbed my night?”
She wept aloud, a sight to see,
And pleaded in her fright,

“Dear Stranger, keep your fire bright!
O please say bright for me!
For I have come from far away,
And must far yonder see.

“My name is secret, so you see,
You musn’t ever know.
Please let me go, for I must leave,
And like the wind must go.”

She arose and the last he saw
Was her dark hair aglow.
Then away he went after her,
His call in the air echoed.

But while he searched on that dark night,
His fire indeed did dim.
For he had forgotten her plea,
And her flight then turned grim.

As she ran, her terror growing
Like trees in early spring,
The river, groaning, sang when she
Succumbed unto its sting.

When morning came, the boy awoke,
And squinted in the light.
He’d never know her wretched fate,
Only her cry that night:

“Dear Stranger, keep your fire bright!
O please stay bright for me!
For I have come from far away,
And must far yonder see.”


6 thoughts on “

  1. Forgive me, this deserves notice, and I have been remiss. Coincidentally, I’ve been reading old Scottish ballads of late, so it’s especially interesting that you should write one just now.

    In style, form, and content it’s very much like an old ballad, which is very good, since that was your purpose, anyway. The only problem with it is that it’s not very carefully done. It wants revision in places to make it sound good. I think that you know what I mean.

    I like it well. The story is interesting, and the devices are good, especially the repetition of fourth stanza at the end.

  2. Caleb – Yes, I know what you mean. This poor thing doesn’t flow very well in some spots, and produces something akin to a “hiccup.” I am curious to know where and what your suggestions might be..

    Lily – You and me both. : )

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