Rime of the Willow–1995

A young man wandered along Life’s road
seeking his fortune so well,
When he stumbled upon a sweet, young maid
weeping in a misty green dale.

“What causes your tears, young maid,” said he,
“who left you here all alone?
You must soon seek shelter
for the day will soon be gone.”

“I wait here for a traveler
to tell my strange tale to.
Before I walked upon this field
I was once like you.

“Please sit a while and lend an ear,
this story is not long.
Mayhap you will learn a bit
about how we all belong.”

She smiled a bit and began her tale
as the sun began to set.
“Please listen close and you will hear
a lesson you’ll never forget.

“I sought my fortune here,
in the world I sought my place.
But I knew nothing about the outside
and confusion clouded my face.

“I saw the world as mine to take,
my future would be secure.
But innocence was not my burden,
my thoughts were not that pure.

“I viewed those more fortunate
with jealousy and hate,
But to those who were beneath me
I also could not relate.

“I saw those who had not as much
with false pious disdain,
And did not know my actions
caused the Fates much pain.

“They decided then to punish me
until to compassion I would yield.
They took away my Fortune
and bound me in this field.

“Wait for a lonely journeyman
who views the world as you,
And let him listen to your tale
and let your thoughts ring true.”

He hung his head as she spun her tale,
he heard pain in her voice.
“And so you know my sad story,
understand I had no choice.

“In order to begin my life,
you had to hear my tale.
The Fates directed your journey
to pass along this dale.

“You see the world as I once did,
without regard or care.
They sent you to hear my warning,
for it’s my fate that you must bear.

“Now you must wait to sing your song
to a traveler unaware,
And I shall go about my life
and my new fortune I shall share.”

The young man looked up to see the girl
who called him to this place,
But staring sadly into his eyes
he saw only his own face.

Shackled to a lonely rock
he watched the former maid.
“I shall continue on your trail
until your price is paid.

“When you have learned compassion
and have felt a stranger’s pain
You will take the traveler’s place
and seek your life again.”

A young man left that meadow
as the sun began to rise,
And turned away from the lonely maid
with teardrops in her eyes.

When you wander along Life’s road
to seek your fortune well,
Beware the single lonely maid
weeping in a misty green dale.

1995

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