Friday, December 21, 2007

The Unquiet Grave

Recently, I became aware of an anonymous old folk poem that I like, so what better place for it to end up but on my blog? Truthfully, I am not much of student of poetry, prose being my preferred passion. This, no doubt, has to do with how little effort I put into reading poetry, but it probably also to do with the fact that I am somewhat of a literalist and many subtle allusions and metaphors pass right by me unnoticed.

Or maybe I'm just a bonehead. No matter what the reason, I think you'll enjoy the following piece of literature. One thing I've noticed in my small experience with poetry is it often benefits from being read aloud, and this offering is no exception.

The Unquiet Grave

The Wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true-love,
In cold grave she was lain.

I'll do as much for my true-love,
As any young man may;
I'll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.

The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
'Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?

'Tis I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek.

You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips;
But my breath smells earthly strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.

'Tis down in younder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk,
The finest flower that ere was seen
Is withered to a stalk.

The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.

To all but the dimmest bulb, this poem needs no intermediary to help make sense of it, which may be one of the reasons I like it so.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Take care.

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