The Ride

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She rode o'er hill, she rode o'er plain,
  She rode by fields of barley,
  By morning-glories filled with rain,
  And beechen branches gnarly.

  She rode o'er plain, she rode o'er hill,
  By orchard land and berry;
  Her face was buoyant as the rill,
  Her eyes and heart were merry,

  A bird sang here, a bird sang there,
  Then blithely sang together,
  Sang sudden greetings every where,
  "Good-morrow!" and "good weather!"

  The sunlight's laughing radiance
  Laughed in her radiant tresses;
  The bold breeze set her curls a-dance,
  Made red her lips with kisses.

  "Why ride ye here, why ride ye there,
  Why ride ye here so merry?
  The sunlight living in your hair,
  And in your cheek the cherry?

  "Why ride ye with your sea-green plumes,
  Your sea-green silken habit,
  By balmy bosks of faint perfumes
  Where squats the cunning rabbit?"

  "The morning's feet are wrought of gold,
  The hunter's horn is jolly;
  Sir Richard bold was rich and old,
  Was old and melancholy.

  "A wife they'd have me to his bed,
  And to the kirk they hurried;
  But now, gramercy! he is dead,
  Perdie! is dead and buried.

  "I ride by tree, I ride by rill,
  I ride by rye and clover,
  For by the kirk beyond the hill
  Awaits a better lover."

© Madison Julius Cawein