Ballad of Human Life


When we were girl and boy together,
   We tossed about the flowers
   And wreathed the blushing hours
Into a posy green and sweet.
   I sought the youngest, best,
   And never was at rest
Till I had laid them at thy fairy feet.
But the days of childhood they were fleet,
   And the blooming sweet-briar breathed weather,
   When we were boy and girl together.


Then we were lad and lass together,
   And sought the kiss of night
   Before we felt aright,
Sitting and singing soft and sweet.
   The dearest thought of heart
   With thee ’twas joy to part,
And the greater half was thine, as meet.
Still my eyelid’s dewy, my veins they beat
   At the starry summer-evening weather,
   When we were lad and lass together.


And we are man and wife together,
   Although thy breast, once bold
   With song, be closed and cold
Beneath flowers’ roots and birds’ light feet.
   Yet sit I by thy tomb,
   And dissipate the gloom
With songs of loving faith and sorrow sweet.
And fate and darkling grave kind dreams do cheat,
That, while fair life, young hope, despair and death are,
   We’re boy and girl, and lass and lad, and man and wife together.

[Kelsall, 1851]