THE MESSENGER

He came running over the hills,
Flying down to the village,
As he rounded the rugged cliffs
His cloths billowing in the air,
As though he rode in the evening wind
He ran and ran, never stopping
The news,
He gave wind of to none,
For it was only meant for one

He ran and ran,
To the king’s palace he ran,
Sailing in the wind like winnowed bran
Down the bush paths he ran,
Startling birds and squirrels off tree branches,
And the lonely paths
To none other than the king he ran

He ran to the king’s palace
There he ran to
Of all places
Into the courts he ran
Where the nobles with the king
Were bent over a game of aces

“Water! water!
Give him some water!
For his breath does quiver
He seem like an arrow shot hence from a quiver
For the unknown news he bears I do shiver
Haste! Haste!
Make haste!
My thin patience does lie waste”

The water has arrived in the clay pitcher,
And raised to the lips of the messenger
Greedily he gulps,
And gulps ,
And ,
Alas! His spirit is gone
Whence the candle flame has gone
Shot out of him like the bullet from a gun
He is gone,
His body prostrate on the floor,
Like he never ran through the door

Oh! the king,
The king,
Who would sing,
Of the untold news the messenger did bring?
Who would tell
Of what the fool had fled hence?
Oh, the nobles stare but at a fence,
Knowing not what lay yonder,
For the message is gone with the messenger

He sends another messenger,
To fly over the hills,
And ride with the wind,
Never to give wind,
Of the royal errand,
To none other
But to fly back to his king
Bearing the news borne by his deceased kin
Through bush paths
And rugged cliffs
And hills
To his king
Before he doth give vent to his spirit
Before he does enlighten his king.

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