Prepare to weep for your lost youth and joy…
First Heart-Rending Elegy
In Loopy Copse, when I was young, all golden were the shrubs and trees.
All golden I remember them, and Bonkers Maisie from the farm.
Maisie was unkempt and mad, just like her brother and her dad.
Her sister left them long ago. She went to join the music hall.
She made it as a chorus girl and then she graced the silent screen.
She looked like Edna Purviance and had a hat named after her.
But Bonkers Maisie never did, for she was always dressed in rags.
The golden trees of Loopy Copse in those blue summers long ago,
Oh I remember them with woe as I sit here twirling my moustache.
My woe is such that I may sob and mop my tears with my jacket cuff.
But both my cuffs are smeared with grease, I dipped them in the soup tureen.
I don’t know why, I don’t know when, I don’t know who knocks at my door.
This bombed hotel has stale air. The other guests are rakes and fops.
I’m sitting in my rocking chair recalling the gold of Loopy Copse.
Second Elegy, Equally Heart-Rending
On the bonny bonny banks of the foul black loch,
Where a dredger plied from shore to shore,
I saw my true love pluck some furze and place it in her hair.
My true love was a wandering lass of a clan that herded cows,
And she broke her back when she had a mishap on a trampoline.
For her folk herded cows through the seasons long,
But they also jumped and leaped.
They would wander into the market square of a town down in some dale,
And they’d bounce up and down and gambol about wearing coats of many hues.
And the songs they sang! Oh, the songs they sang were as strange as strange could be.
I remember one that went “Vienna – it means nothing to me!”.
All caked and painted were their carts, yellow, green and blue.
But my true love’s cart was black as pitch, as black as the raven and crow.
I stand in the hills in an icy gale wondering where did my true love go?
Green grow the rushes-oh, on those bonny bonny banks.
By Aerostat to Hooting Yard: A Frank Key Reader is available to buy for Kindle from Amazon now.