Mourning Dove’s Lament

(C) Emily Holbert Kellam

In spring our love blossomed, In spring our love bloomed
I know not then that my true love was doomed
For he was a warrior and I but a maid
And in springtime to war my true love was bade

I’m like the moon shining over the land
I’ve waxed and waned thrice ‘ere I last held your hand
Be careful, my love, who once shone like the sun
For the sight of this night tells me war has begun

And I’ll be the mourning-dove, you are the wren
‘Tis I who shall weep ‘ere the hunt of the men
For when winter’s over, yea, after the war
It is then that the wren may be flying no more

Bravely he fought, they said, bravely he died
A sword in his hand, a true friend by his side
With the ravens above him on his lips was my name
But a glorious death is a death just the same

Six times a turning, and six times again
From springtime to spring ‘tis but I who remain
Last spring brought me true love, last spring brought the war
Now the spring cannot bring me true love anymore

Waves on the Shore, Emily Holbert Kellam (2009)