Monday, August 3, 2009

The Crane Wife

It was a cold night
And the snow lay around
I pulled my coat tight
Against the falling down
And the sun was all down...

I am a poor man
I haven't wealth nor fame
I have my two hands
And a house to my name
And the winter's so long...

And all the stars were crashing 'round
As I laid eyes on what I'd found.

It was a white crane
It was a helpless thing
Upon a red stain
With an arrow in its wing
And it called and cried,
And it called and cried so...

And all the stars were crashing 'round,
As I laid eyes on what I'd found,
My crane wife, my crane wife!!

My crane wife arrived at my door in the moonlight,
All star bright and tongue-tied, I took her in.
We were married and bells rang sweet for our wedding,
And our bedding was ready, and we fell in...

Sound the keening bell
And see it's painted red
Soft as fontenelle
The feathers in the thread...
And all I ever meant to do was to keep you!

We were poorly, our fortunes fading hourly
And how she avowed me, she could bring it back
But I was greedy, I was vain and I forced her to weaving
On a cold loom, in a closed room with down and wool.

There's a bend in the wind and it rakes at my heart!
There is blood in the thread and it rakes at my heart!
It rakes at my heart!

And under the boughs unbowed
all clothed in the snowy shroud
She had no heart so hardened
All under the boughs unbowed

Each feather it fell from skin
'Til thread bare while she grew thin
How were my eyes so blinded?
Each feather it fell from skin

And I will hang my head, hang my head low...

A grey sky, a bitter sting
A rain cloud, a crane on wing
All out beyond horizon
A grey sky, a bitter sting.

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M is for Margaret, who was swept out to sea...