THE THREE PATHWAYS
Once three pathways, broad and wide,
Met upon the plain;
Into foreign parts, three brothers
Set out from Ukraine.
And they left an aged mother,
And one left a wife,
One a sister, and the youngest
Left his chosen bride.
The old mother planted three
Ash-trees in the meadow,
And her son's wife planted there
A poplar tall and slender,
And the sister planted three
Maples by the valley,
And a guelder-rose was planted
By the young fiancee.
But the ash-tree did not root,
And the poplar withered,
The three maples withered up,
The guelder-rose has wilted.
The three brothers do not come. . .
Their mother weeps them still,
And the wife weeps with her children
In a house grown chill.
The sister weeps, she goes to seek
Her brothers among strangers . . .
And the young bride ? In her coffin
Quietly they laid her . . .
The three brothers do not come,
They roam the world, forlorn,
And three pathways, broad and wide,
Are overgrown with thorns.
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Originally Composed: Tuesday August 20th 1996.
Date last modified: Wednesday March 26th 1997.