Song (“Poor Old Pilgrim…”)

Poor old pilgrim Misery,
   Beneath the silent moon he sate,
A-listening to the screech owl’s cry,
   And the cold wind’s goblin prate
Beside him lay his staff of yew
   With withered willow twined,
His scant grey hair all wet with dew,
   His cheeks with grief ybrined;
      And his cry it was ever, alack!
         Alack, and woe is me!

Anon a wanton imp astray
   His piteous moaning hears,
And from his bosom steals away
   His rosary of tears:
With his plunder fled that urchin elf,
   And hid it in your eyes,
Then tell me back the stolen pelf,
   Give up the lawless prize;
      Or your cry shall be ever, alack!
         Alack, and woe is me!

[Kelsall, 1851]