On What You Pay For

     The Fair Little Maiden

Dora Sigerson Shorter

"There is one at the door, Wolfe O'Driscoll,
At the door, who is bidding you come!"
"Who is he that wakes me in the darkness,
Calling when all the world's dumb?"
"Six horses has he to his carriage,
Six horses blacker than the night,
And their twelve red eyes in the shadows
Twelve lamps he carries for his light;
"And his coach is a coffin black and mouldy,
A huge black coffin open wide:
He asks for your soul, Wolfe O'Driscoll,
Who is calling at the door outside."
"Who let him thro' the gates of my gardens,
Where stronger bolts have never been?"
"'Twas the father of the fair little maiden
You drove to her grave so green."
"And who let him pass through the courtyard,
By loosening the bar and the chain?"
"Oh, who but the brother of the maiden,
Who lies in the cold and the rain!"
"Then who drew the bolts at the portal,
And into my house bade him go?"
"She, the mother of the poor young maiden,
Who lies in her youth so low."
"Who stands, that he dare not enter,
The door of my chamber, between?"
"O, the ghost of the fair little maiden,
Who lies in the churchyard green."

[The end]


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