SONG OF KLEE

Once within a hamlet 

that once was known as Klee 

high upon the chalky cliffs 

above the sounding sea 


Within a whitewashed shanty, 

lived a poor young lad named Rue 

And all are around the little town, 

Rue rode his donkey Blue 


His face was dappled dirty, 

his tunic torn and worn 

Rue’s wide-eyed stair was always there, 

till twilight time from morn 


From Rue’s slanted shoulder, 

a homemade harp was hung 

and for a smile, a happy tune, 

upon it he would strum 


None could name the ditties 

for Rue would only hum 

Though most folks knew, this was the clue, 

alas sweet Rue was dumb 


Now one day fair, a lass with hair 

as golden as the sun 

Along the road from Racamill, 

a passing Klee did come 


She topped a fine white mare, she did, 

with tasseled rein and hood 

and sun did sparkle cross her cloak, 

as she rode ‘round the wood 


Before her there, with full fanfare, 

a comp’ny for to tend 

Rode flank to flank, in file and rank, 

the fair lass to defend 


There at the crooked crossroads, 

beneath a tree of haws 

Untimely as it seemed to be, 

Rue’s donkey chose to pause 


He sat within the narrow street, 

with careless patience for to eat 

the ripe red fruit that dropped so sweet 

on the crossroads ‘round his feet


Rue did push and Rue did yank 

upon the beast’s rein and flank 

But no deed did seem to dissuade 

true Blue’s mind from his meal that day 


Still advanced the maidens’ clan, 

busily, some hurried plan 

Their mind upon a distant deed, 

toward which now they all did speed 


When what upon the lad and beast, 

the laudable leader’s eye did feast 

time was to terse to rein or whoa, 

the path too tight to turn and go 


So stop abrupt the horse did halt, 

from his saddle this sire did vault 

who with lack of thought for grace, 

did flatly fall on his fine face 


Then from the rear formation come, 

the noble riders one by one 

To thump and bump, clatter and slump 

into one great baronial dump 


All the clam’ring, cursing and stamm’ring, 

drew Blue's mind away from his meal 

All the muttering, dusting and sputtering, 

soon a laughing bray Blue did peal 


Startled by such crude commotion, 

the maiden’s mare soon took a notion 

To rear and prance on her hind feet, 

until the lass did lose her seat 


Down upon the tufted grass, 

beside the road did roll the lass 

Till finally she came to rest, 

her curls and petticoats all a mess 


Ker-plunk, Ker-plop, right on the street, 

in the crossroads right at Rue’s feet 

A sympathetic smile grew 

on the face of our sweet Rue 


The lass did share amusement there, 

then laughed and shook her golden hair 

As Rue did strum upon his harp, 

a happy tune to lift the heart 


The sun then sparkled through the tree 

to warm this dancing melody 

The lass’s lilting laughter throng 

soon lifted sweet to loving song 


She sang as if she always knew 

the fond and gentle heart of Rue 

‘Cross the meadow the sound did grow 

then through the streets of Klee did flow 


All the townsfolk came to hear 

this harmony that pleased the ear 

And all who came were touched with awe 

at what they heard and what they saw 


There on the road outside of Klee, 

beneath the rip’ning red haw tree 

The sweetest song that ere was heard 

from pluck of harp and trill of word 


Rue’s gaze of adoration drew 

the maiden’s blush of love so true 

and love so pure from eyes so young 

did still the heart of everyone 


The humble peasantry of Klee 

and noble men alike did see 

that none could ever come between 

a love so blessed as they had seen 


The years have passed—some few, they say, 

since Rue and Blue have gone away 

But still the folks of Klee will muse 

about the love song of sweet Rue’s 


Some swear if you sit silently 

on chalky cliffs above the sea 

Within the soft night breeze you’ll hear 

a sound so distant yet so clear 


It just may be Rue’s harp you hear 

followed by a voice so dear 

And it will be the sweetest song 

that you will hear your whole life long 


N.N.  4/27/89