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!