The Rowan Tree


’T IS I go singing, singing, across the fields at dawn.
With fairy music ringing the blithe new day is born,
And all the trees are stirring, far as the eye can see,
But never tiniest leaflet moves on the rowan tree.
Ah! flutings from the sea of dreams, ye will not let me rest;
Ye call and call, the livelong day, the heart from out my breast. —
The heart from out my breast to the face mine eyes must see
Because I slept at nightfall beneath the rowan tree.


Dreaming, dreaming, toward the West from the East I go.
What my dreams are, they alone, they the fay folk know.
Purple visions sway and reel, love lights flash and flee,
Keeping time to the clash of bells, round and round the rowan tree.
Sinks the sun in the opal sea, still the dream leads on,
(Weary feet and longing eyes,) and the day is gone. Longing eyes and aching heart, still the love lights flee
Since I saw Dream Ailka under the rowan tree.


’T is I go weeping, weeping, across the dewy meads;
The cruel hills are sleeping, no least breath stirs the reeds.
No least breath stirs the reeds, nor west wind comforts me,
But I hear the branches groaning,all on the rowan tree.
My brothers, O my brothers, call me to life and light!
’T is human love can fold me from the Terror of the Night.
They pass before me, cold and hard, and oh! they jeer at me,
For I have kissed Dream Ailka beneath the rowan tree.
Katharine Aldrich.