Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
A Ripple Song
ONCE a ripple came to land
  In the golden sunset burning—
Lapped against a maiden’s hand,
  By the ford returning.
Dainty foot and gentle breast        5
Here, across, be glad and rest.
“Maiden, wait,” the ripple saith;
“Wait awhile, for I am Death!”
“Where my lover calls I go—
  Shame it were to treat him coldly—        10
’Twas a fish that circled so,
  Turning over boldly.”
Dainty foot and tender heart,
Wait the loaded ferry-cart.
“Wait, ah, wait!” the ripple saith;        15
“Maiden, wait, for I am Death!”
“When my lover calls I haste—
  Dame Disdain was never wedded!”
Ripple-ripple round her waist,
  Clear the current eddied.        20
Foolish heart and faithful hand,
Little feet that touched no land.
Far away the ripple sped,
Ripple—ripple running red!

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