The Maiden and the Raven
by The Elven Poet


The maiden to the raven called,
"You wisest of all birds:
Come tell me how to choose a man,
Please give me your wise words."
"To choose a man from other men,"
The black bird did respond,
"Look for a man with tender eyes
And ways both strong and fond.
Choose not a man with temper swift,
Nor slowness to begin:
Use heart and mind the man to find
That you will wish to win."
The maiden to the raven said,
"Ah! Your advice is sound:
Now tell me how to win the man
That I have finally found."
"To win the man that you would wed,"
The black bird made reply,
"Be always just beyond his reach,
And, with a laughing eye,
Be lithe, be sweet, be smiling, but
Him never meet alone:
This is the plan to win your man
And make him all your own."
The maiden to the raven cried,
"Come, tell to me the way
That I may keep my husband's love
That he will never stray."
"To keep your husband's love for e'er,"
The black bird did reply,
"You must stop his beating heart
When he to sleep doth lie:
For men, as you should know by now,
Do never bide in peace,
No trick will prove to bind their love,
Or make their rovings cease."