Rudyard Kipling

A Ripple Song

Once red 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 ripplee 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-raft. "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 faithfut hand, Little feet that touched no land. Far away the ripple sped, Ripple-ripple runnin red!

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