I am a loathly damsel

I am a loathly damsel

I am a loathly damsel and this my fate;
I am assailed by fear and this I do:
cut off that which brings me fear,
and shrink my own domain, in truth,
and shrink my own domain

My mother and father pleased me not:
from them came misery and blame;
and so I chopped them from my life
though I know they still live near, right near,
though I know they still live near

brothers and sisters needs must lapse
they too brought o’er much pain;
and one by one my friends I cropped
in time each did me wrong, sore wrong,
in time each did me wrong

Gawains came by to help, they said,
I gave them all short shrift;
they left confused and leaking fear,
my skill had beat them off, well off,
my skill had beat them off

I keep my hut, I keep alive,
the world out there is crazed;
I’ll chop and crop, and crop and chop
till all my fear is gone, far gone,
till all my fear is gone

I am a loathly damsel and this my fate
I am assailed by fear and this I do

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