Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Little Man In Green - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

'TWAS a little man in green,
And he sat upon a stone;
And he sat there all alone,
Whispering.

'One and two,' so whispered he.
('Twas an ancient man and hoar)
'One and two,' and then no more--
Never, 'Three'.

Hawthorn trees were quick with May--
'Sir,' said I, 'Good-day to you'!
But he counted. 'One and two'
In strange way.

Fool I was--oh, fool was I
(Who should know the ways of them!)
That I touched his cloak's green hem,
Passing by.

I was fey with spring and mirth--
Speaking him without a thought--
Now is joy a thing forgot
On the earth.

Ere the sweet thorn-buds were through,
Wife and child doom-stricken lay,
Cold as winter, white as spray--
'One and two!'

Now I seek eternally
That grim Counter of the fen,
Praying he may count again--
Counting, 'Three'.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010



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