The King's Daughter

DARKNESS was on the countryside.
‘O love, O little love,’ he cried,
‘Reach out your hand to me!’
And to the pleading shepherd lad
She reached her hand out, proud and glad;
‘With all my heart,’ said she.
‘The way is sharp,’ he said, ‘and slow.
The night is thicker as we go.
Lean not so long on me.’
She drew her eager hand away.
‘Have cheer, for surely comes the day
And journey’s end,’ said she.
‘Choose now a way less black and steep.
I must lie down awhile to sleep.
I can no more,’ said he.
‘Alas, but for my father’s sake
There is no other way to take.
I go alone,’ said she.
ROSALIE HICKLER