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The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter/The Fair Little Maiden

< The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter


There is one at the door, Wolfe O'Driscoll,
At the door, who bids you to come!”
“Who is he that wakes me in the darkness,
Calling when all the world is dumb?”

“Six horses has he to his carriage.
Six horses blacker than the night.
And their twelve red eyes in the shadows—
Twelve lamps he carries for his light;

“His coach is a herse black and mouldy,
Within a coffin open wide:
He asks for your soul, Wolfe O'Driscoll,
Who doth call at the door outside.”

“Who let him thro' the gates of my gardens,
Where stronger bolts have never been?”
“The father of the fair little maiden
You drove to her grave deep and green.”

“And who let him pass through the courtyard.
Loosening the bar and the chain?”
“Who but the brother of the maiden
Who lies in the cold and the rain!”

“Then who drew the bolts at the portal.
And into my house bade him go?”
“The mother of the poor yoimg maiden
Who lies in her youth all so low.”

“Who stands, that he dare not enter.
The door of my chamber, between?”
“O, the ghost of the fair little maiden
Who lies in the churchyard green.”