THE FIDDLING LAD
"There'll be no roof to shelter you;
You'll have no where to lay your head.
And who will get your food for you?
Star-dust pays for no man's bread.
So, Jacky, come give me your fiddle
If ever you mean to thrive."
"I'll have the skies to shelter me,
The green grass it shall be my bed,
And happen I'll find somewhere for me
A sup of drink, a bit of bread.;
And I'll not give my fiddle
To any man alive."
And it's out he went across the wold,
His fiddle tucked beneath his chin,
And (golden bow on silver strings.)
Smiling he fiddled the twilight in;
And fiddled in the frosty moon,
And all the stars of the Milky Way,Page 105
And fiddled low through the dark of dawn,
And laughed and fiddled in the day.
But oh, he had no bit nor sup,
And oh, the winds blew stark and cold,
And when he dropped on his grass-green bed
It's long he slept on the open wold.
They digged his grave and, "There," they said,
"He's got more land than ever he had,
And well it will keep him held and housed,
The feckless bit of a fiddling lad."
And it's out he's stepped across the wold
His fiddle tucked beneath his chin—
A wavering shape in the wavering light,
Smiling he fiddles the twilight in,
And fiddles in the frosty moon,
And all the stars of the Milky Way,
And fiddles low through the dark of dawn,
And laughs and fiddles in the day.
He needeth not or bit or sup,
The winds of night he need not fear,
And (bow of gold on silver strings)
It's all the peoples turn to hear.
"Oh never," It's all the people cry,
"Came such sweet sounds from mortal hand"Page 106
And, "Listen," they say, "it's some ghostly boy
That goes a-fiddling through the land.
Hark you! It's night comes slipping in,—
The moon and the stars that tread the sky;
And there's the breath of the world that stops;
And now with a shout the sun comes by!"