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Collected Poems

The Secret Maiden

The Secret Maiden

I am a lovely maiden,
I live in a lonely house,
there is no man since time began
has bedded me down as spouse.

page 145

I am a comely maiden,
I have no man to loathe,
no mother-in-law to waggle her jaw,
no kids to feed and clothe.

I am a beautiful maiden,
I live in an empty house,
the nuts I eat are small but sweet,
for company I've a mouse.

I am a delicate maiden,
I have no bath nor bed,
the cold is raw in my heap of straw
and the wind blows through my head.

I am a nut-brown maiden,
my nuts I keep in jars,
and all I've got is you know what
and a window full of stars.