Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Black Sheep, by Joanna Newsom

T’was a humdrum, cloud-bespotted day
Rumblesome skies unfurled, turbid and grey
And the air was charged with smoke, was charged with sulphur and with hay
As I tripped like a sea-washed shingle down yon rocky terrain

The whippoorwill cawed slyly in the sighing willow trees
And the long grass heaved with the bulk of the breeze
And as it blew, it grew, and drew toward my feet, toward my knees
So I hummed like a mariner; chanted my larky, garbled refrain

And as to pick some dandelions and mint and sage I knelt
I chanced upon a woe-behobbled beast, upon whose charcoal pelt
The brunt of weather and of hunger was sorely felt
I asked him whence his wool had gone, and sadly he did explain:

“Aye sir, nay sir – I do shiver verily to tell
This coat of mine, my garment, my friend, was taken for to sell,
By my master and his cruel dame, and the little boys who dwell
In the crumble-down cottage, down the honeysuckle lane”

We cleft our ways; I watched the path he took
As he limped amongst the poplar shadows, by the stagnant, mellow brook
And rehearsing his tale, my fundament, my heart and soul were shook
And I felt a jarring needle, a kick, a stab, the punch of pain.

Baa baa baa baa baa
Baa baa baa baa baa
Baa baa baa baa baa