Once a 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 ripple 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-cart.
‘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 faithful hand,
Little feet that touched no land.
Far away the ripple sped,