A Ripple Song

Once a ripple came to land
In the golden sunset burning
Lapped against a maiden's hand, 
By the ford returning.

Dainty foot and gentle breast - 
Here, across, be glad and rest. 
"Maiden, wait," the ripple saith; 
"Wait awhile, for I am Death!"
"Where my lover calls I go - 
Shame it were to treat him coldly - 
'Twas a fish that circled so, 
Turning over boldly."

Dainty foot and tender heart, 
Wait the loaded ferry-cart. 
"Wait, ah, wait!" the ripple saith 
"Maiden, wait, for I am Death!" 
"When my lover calls I haste 
Dame Disdain was never wedded" 
Ripple-ripple round her waist, 
Clear the current eddied.

Foolish heart and faithful hand, 
Little feet that touched no land. 
Far away the ripple sped, 
Ripple-ripple running red !

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picture credit: John Lockwood Kipling 1895