Wednesday 16 November 2011

The Hawker's Pot Song

It is the wintry time of year.
The hawker’s pot is cold and bare.
The hawker walks his doleful walk.
He hawks his wares, but where’s his hawk?

Things as they are, stay as they are
It is the wintry time of year.
The wind blows through the wintry ranges
Trees just stand there. Nothing changes.

The hawker walks the midnight track.
From out his mouth he makes a crack!
The crack of light lights up the dark,
It brightly burns and twists and sparks!

The path is lit, the ash trees twig,
The oak trees bark, the badgers dig,
The barn owls hoot, the green wood talks
As gay as larks, as wild as hawks.

Up on the downs the hawker walks;
The sheep look up, as gay as hawks.
He swiftly treads the upland down,
The downland up, the downland down.

Then to the church he takes his way.
The dead sit up to have their say.
The dead feel quick: till rosy morn
They tell their jokes: the graves all yawn.

The graves all yawn, the coffins cough,
The trees up sticks, the bats take off,
Leant on his grave, each dead man talks,
As wild as larks, as gay as hawks.

The hawker’s pot is filling up,
That ancient vase, that broken cup.
That cut-price grail, the hawker’s pot,
It is half-full, as full as not!

It is the moonlight’s steady drip
That dripping down is filling it!

Deep in the woods, the wild rose brakes,
The badger runs, the blossom shakes,
The petals cling to tender stalks
As gay as larks, as wild as hawks.

The hawker’s work is nearly done.
For in the east rises the sun.
His steps he hastens to the town
And there he sets his backpack down.

The market stalls, the market starts,
The buyers come, as gay as larks,
The buyers leave, with knives and forks
Clutched to their chests, as wild as hawks.

About the sky, in a great arc
There flies the hawk, gay as a lark.
The heavy bird, so full of charm,
Swoops down upon the hawker’s arm.

Upon his wrist, the dear bird parks
The two walk on, as gay as larks.

As gay as larks, as wild as hawks,
Our work is done, the thunder talks,
The pot is full, the heron flaps.
To you, good sirs, we raise our caps.

Let none speak on unless he talks
As wild as larks, as gay as hawks.

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