ANAIS MITCHELL


The Shepherd's Song Lyrics

Said the shepherd to his wife,
The cropel haze is cut and dry.
I'll bail it up and bring it in,
Before the coming storm begins.

Go, she said, and beat the storm,
And then there is another chore.
Today the baby will be born,
You'll take me to the hospital.

Said the shepherd, if it's true,
'Twere better if I stayed with you.
I'd rather let the harvest go,
And hasten to the hospital.

Nay, she told him, I'll be fine,
We both have laboring to do.
You do yours and I'll do mine,
And the babe will wait 'til the work is through.

The shepherd rode the yellow rows,
The clouds above and the field below.
Until the bails had all been tied,
Then home returned to find his wife.

The sweat was wet upon her brow,
Her breath it cameth labouredly.
And then the rain was coming down,
Upon the field of yellow hay.

Said the shepherd, it's no use,
The rain will surely win the race.
'Twere better if we let it fall,
And hurry to the hospital.

Go, she said, and work with haste,
And bring the bails into the barn.
Else the crop will go to waste,
And the babe will wait 'til the work is done.

The shepherd drove into the storm,
And to and from the yellow barn.
'Til half the bails were safely in,
Then went to find his wife again.

How many times her name he called,
And no replying would she make.
Her breath it cameth not at all,
She would not rise from where she lay.

The storm was o'er within the hour,
The shepherd saw the sun come out.
The shepherd's wife saw ne'er again,
He buried her and the babe within.

He turned the seed into the ground,
He brought the flock to feed thereon.
He held the cleaver and the plow,
And the shepherd's work was never done.

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