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