The Fiddler

Adelaide Crapsey

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"There's be no roof to shelter you;

You'll have no where to lay your head.

And who will get your food for you?

Star-dust pays for no man's bread.

So, Jacky, come give me your fiddle

If ever you mean to thrive."

"I'll have the skies to shelter me,

The green grass it shall be my bed.

And happen I'll find some where for me

A sup of drink, a bite of bread;

And I'll not give my fiddle

To any man alive."

And it's out he went across the wold,

His fiddle tucked beneath his chin,

And (golden bow on silver strings)

Smiling he fiddled the twilight in;

And fiddled in the frost moon,

And all the stars of the Milky Way,

And fiddled low through the dark o' dawn,

And laughed and fiddled in the day.

But oh, he had nor bite nor sup,

And oh, the winds blew stark and cold,

And when he cropped on his grass-green bed

It's long he slept on the open wold.

They digged his grave and "There," they said,

"He's got more land that ever he had,

And well it will keep him held and housed,

The feckless bit of a fiddling lad."

And it's out he's stepped across the wold

His fiddle tucked beneath his chin --

A wavering shape in the wavering light,

Smiling he fiddles the twilight in,

And fiddle in the frosty morn,

And all the stars of the Milky Way,

And fiddles low through the dark o' dawn,

And laughs and fiddles in the day.

He needeth not or bit or sup,

The winds of night he need not fear,

And (bow of gold on silver strings)

It's all the people turn to hear.

"Oh, never," it's all the people cry,

"Came such sweet sounds from mortal hand;"

And "Listen," they say, "It's some ghostly boy

That goes a-fiddling through the land.

Heark you! It's night comes slipping in, --

The moon and the stars that tread the sky;

And there's the breath o' the world that stops;

And now with a shout the sun comes by!"

Who heareth him he heedeth not

But smiles content, the fiddling lad;

"It's many and many a happy day,"

He says, "My fiddle and I have had;

And I'll not give my fiddle

To any man alive."

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