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The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter/The Little Brother

< The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter


O brother, brother, come down to the crags by the bay,
Come down to the caves where I play;
For oh! I saw on the rocks, asleep,
A fair mermaid, and the slow waves creep
To bear her away, away.

O brother, brother, come quick, till you laugh with me,
For no mermaid so fair is she,
But the little lass that I saw last night,
(I hid in the shade, you stood in the light),
And she weeping most bitterly.

O brother, brother, I watched her the live-long day.
Saw her hair grow jewelled with spray;
Once her cheek was brushed by a gull's wet wing.
And a finch flew down on her hand to sing.
And was not afraid to stay.

O brother, brother, will she soon awakened be?
I would she might laugh now with me.
She sleeps, and the world so full of sound—
She's so deaf, like the dead that are under the ground,
That I laugh and laugh to see.