The Dove's Question

I met a girl with eyes of pearl while trekking through the dell;
She looked at me: “Hello,” said she, “have you a tale to tell?”
“I have,” I said, and spun my thread to let my tale unfurl;
“One day,” said I, “I did espy a maid with eyes of pearl.

“But unlike you, her dress was blue; her lips a cardinal red;
And with a wail, ‘I have a tale to tell to you,’ she said.
“She told me of a silver dove who had her lover been,
His curse would break if she could make him come to earth again.”

To my surprise, the girl with eyes of pearl gave a yelp:
“I know the dove this maid did love, and maybe I can help!
“Of all the birds, alone his words reflect a human voice;
“And possibly he’ll fly to me, and we shall all rejoice!”

“But tell me, why on earth,” said I, “would he fly down for you?”
“He sings to me at night,” said she, “and on the Sabbath too.
“Perhaps this maid does serenade her love by light of day,
But only night provides the light to catch him,” she did say.

So with a twirl, I took the girl across the sunny dell,
And clear across the floor of moss which I adored so well,
And we did roam into the home of that despondent maid,
Whose lover’s plight had left her quite and terribly afraid.

“I hear that you are feeling blue,” the happy girl exclaimed.
“But I am here to quell your fear, and have your lover tamed.”
“And who art thou, and tell me how you hope to tame my love,
For I have tried for weeks,” she cried, “what are you thinking of?”

The pearly miss, in utmost bliss, decided then to sing.
Her mind awhirl, the other girl was taken by the thing.
“My friend and I,” I said, “stopped by to ease your sorrowed head.
“We’ve talked, you see.  ‘He sings to me at night,’ said she,” I said.

As they conversed, I sought the cursed in yonder twilit sky,
When lo! I heard a silver bird as he came winging by!
I thought he planned to swoop and land, but as he had no choice,
He did begin to sorrow in a light and landless voice.

“The sky, it is my earth!” was his lament unto my ears.
“An endless sea, a death!” cried he, “the birth of all my fears.”
“No hill or lake will ever make me come at her command,
“Majestic oaks will never coax me from my lonely land!”

“Fear not,” I said, “for I have led a singer to your door,
“And she will sing, and hope to bring you down--forevermore!
“With outstretched arm, her songs will charm you from your perch above!”
“But on whose hand am I to land?  The singer, or my love?”

The question caught me deep in thought, for what he said was true.
The singer’s verse might break the curse, but what would be her due?
“If this is so, then do not go unto the singer’s call!
“My hand is fine, so land on mine, or land on none at all.”

The night had come, and shortly from the house two maidens came,
One sang a song, robust and strong; the other called his name.
The dove was stirred by all he heard, yet dared not cross his love.
He turned his head to me instead, and settled to my glove.

“What filth is this?” proclaimed the miss whose love had flown to me.
“You cannot go!  Stay here, my beau!”  But it was not to be.
“I wish I could, for you are good, and rare and true and gay,
“But you will be an endless sea, until my dying day.”

I left the two of pearly view, although it made me ache,
For left unlured, I am assured his curse will never break.
And so, as long as there is song, until he meets his end,
I wear a dove upon my glove, and I his only friend.