A Ripple Song

A poem by Rudyard Kipling

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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