shall be the willow

shall be the willow
                         july 2020
‘i had a little nut-tree
nothing would it bear
but a silver apple
and a golden pear;
the kind of Spain’s daughter
came to visit me,
and all for the sake
of my little nut-tree’
from the 18th century nursery rhyme

..and the eel swam through the tree… a Rivercat snap

i grew a tree
of silver chimes
the wind would
rhyme upon,
i grew another
of golden pears,
each one a
year of plenty.

a lady with
look of eye
that sank the
heart in honey
came, her smile
told me such
miraculous trees
only found their
worth in money,

that she could
show me to the
land where the sun
rose through slender
wood, soft in hand,
and slept upon
your pillow.

‘a willow’, she
laughed green,
‘a willow for
your love’, and
none seemed better
in thought than she,
so we leaned
together as we gazed
upon our quarters,
that foot of earth,
the murmured tangle
of grass and reed that
ripple river waters

Copyright ©2021 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

The music is from a live performance by harpist Michael Rooney of traditional Irish reels; this is from the opening number (unattributed).

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