The Borderlands

(from “Borderlands”)


The young man sat above the town
In the glow of the setting sun
With his head held cradled in his hand,
His back against a stone
Sayin, ‘Why have I so little time
In this wretched place to stand
When I can’t take the girl I love
Back home to the borderland-o’

‘For I watch her dance upon the hill
And I live but for her song
And she never dreamed I waited here
So silent and so long
But her golden hair it strikes me dumb
And her brown eyes strike me blind
And the thought I’ll ne’er see her again
Is torturing my mind-o’

The girl walked down the hill nearby
Toward home and the end of day
And she caught the sound of the young man’s words
And she stopped upon her way
And no voice had she ever heard so sweet
As the voice of the stranger lad
And she stood there as if turned to stone
And listened from the shadows

And the young man’s words reached out to her
Where she stood upon the lea
And they built her ships upon the clouds
And castles on the sea
And as he spoke her eyes did flash
And burn as with a flame
And the maid she stepped around the stone
As if he’d called her name-o

‘Oh, pray lament no more,’ she said,
Her voice like a gentle sea
‘For I have heard your every word
And I know they’re meant for me
And if you speak in truth, my lad,
And you love me as you say
There can be no reason we must part,
Not even for a day-o’

Oh the young man started at her words
And he stood up straight and tall
Siad, ‘I never meant for you to hear me
Speak this way at all
For you can never have me, love,
It’s useless to deceive
For I must return the the borderlands
Oh, I am bound to leave you’

‘Oh, I care not where you’re bound, my lad,
I care not where you’re from
For the one thing that I’m certain ‘tis
this maiden’s heart you’ve won
So take me with you where you must
I freely go your way
And I will lie here in your arms
To greet the light of day-o’

So tenderly he laid her down
And next to her did lie
The wind that whispered through the trees
Was sweet as a lullaby
And bending down, he folded her
Into a soft embrace
And with a touch he sent her fast asleep
With a smile upon her face

‘Oh, sleep content, my love,’ he said,
‘I cannot cause you pain
For the dawn will find me far away
And I won’t be back again
And though I’d take you if I could
I am not what I seem
For I must return to the borderlands
oh, I am bound to leave you’

‘For I am not of your world, my love,
I come from another time
And I crossed here from the borderlands
Between your world and mine
And twas there that I first heard your voice
And longed for your face to see
And I gathered all the powers I had
And stepped out on your lea-o’

‘And you know I watched you quietly
As you danced upon the hill
And though I dared not call to you
I loved you stronger still
But no longer do I have the power
No longer can I stay
And I’ll be pulled back into my time
By the dawning of the day-o’

‘But I will be your pillow
Where e’er your head will lie
And I’ll be the star you can only catch
In the corner of your eye
And I’ll be the sound of laughter
In the first low flower of dawn
And I’ll be the touch to brush your cheek
And wake you in the morning’

So saying this he bended low
And he kissed her once goodbye
And as the dawn broke on the hill
He vanished like a sigh
And the maid she opened up her eyes
And smiled up through the trees
For as she listened she could almost hear
His voice upon the breeze-o

‘I know you hear me, love,’ she spoke
As she lay on her grassy bed
‘For I felt your touch and I felt your kiss
And I heard the words you said
But the next time that our worlds combine
Can not be very far
And I’ll be waiting then to take your hand
And dance among the stars-o’


© 1982 Danny Carnahan/Post-Trad Music

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