THE BALLAD OF THE BLUE ROSE


The April Witch came to Yew ten years ago this Belthane eve.
Spoke she, "Your township's dearest prize will be my own before I leave."
The merchants went to hide their gold, the jewelers locked their gems away;
But she sought out our town's best bard, and in her golden voice did say,
"Come dance with me the rites of spring, the gray is slipping from the skies.
To bring the bursting buds to bloom, I need the fire from your eyes."

His blue eyes danced as he played a run upon the lute he loved so well;
"And what is it that you will give me in return, I pray thee tell?"
"I give to thee twelve precious stones, the finest diamonds earth e're made,
"A mantle of the finest silk I may now offer you in trade,
"A castle made of ivory, to keep you safe from stormy skies;
"For I must wake the Spring, and so I need the fire from your eyes."

"I thank you, no. The evening sky is filled with gems enough for me.
"I love a storm, and so would find no peace in halls of ivory.
"In midnight's mystic mantle I do feel myself most finely dressed.
"So, Lady, I must ask you now if you have offered up your best;
"For night draws nigh, 'tis time to sing, and we must say our fond good-byes
"If you've no better offering to tempt the fire from my eyes."

She stood in somber thought, a perfect maid of rare immortal light.
"I'll grant you your soul's secret wish to know true love for a single night.
"I know the secret longings hidden deep within the songs you sing,
"And though I've never loved I must now for the sake of the rising Spring.
"I will fulfill your secret dream from now until the next sunrise
"If you'll consent to let me have the fire from your eyes."

The midnight air was so alive, the stars so clear and bright
That not a soul in all that town could sleep a wink that night.
Wild music danced upon the breeze, but was too quickly gone.
With her first tears the April Witch arose before the dawn;
For a night or a season does what it must, it lives it's span and then it dies.
She stole away from her sleeping love, taking the fire from his eyes.

Now, there's a festival in our fair town this Belthane eve.
And the Bard is singing songs that only some of us believe,
Of how on this day, for nine years upon one barren bush there grows
Our single perfect heralding of spring -- a bright blue rose.
He says it's where the witch's tears fell on that distant dawn;
Her remembering of a love that lived for one night, and then was gone.

And the strangers wonder why, when the Bard sings this song he cries,
And the tears flow down his pallid cheeks from gray and empty eyes.