Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/197

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Father John's War Song


With the river-mud so red:
But when you are wed
Go down to the river;
O maiden Mary, be very wary,
And dwell among the corn!
See, this dame Alice, maiden Mary,
Her hair is thin and white,
But she is a housewife good and wary,
And a great steel key hangs bright
From her gown, as red as the flowers in corn;
She is good and old like the autumn corn.

Maiden Mary

This is knight Roland, Father John,
Stark in his arms from a field half-won;
Ask him if he has seen your son:
Roland, lay your sword on the corn,
The piled-up sheaves of the golden corn.

Knight Roland

Why does she kiss me, Father John?
She is my true love truly won;
Under my helm is room for one,
But the molten lead-streams trickle and run
From my roof-tree, burning under the sun;
No corn to burn, we had eaten the corn,
There was no waste of the golden corn.

Father John

Ho, you reapers, away from the corn,

To march with the banner of Father John!