Expectation

My flask of wine was ruby red
And swift I ran my sweet to see;
With eyes that snapped delight I said:
"How mad with love a lad can be!"
The moon was laughing overhead;
I danced as nimbly as a flea.

Thought I: In two weeks time we'll wed;
No more a lonesome widow she;
For I have bought a double bed
And I will father children three.
So singing like a lark I sped
To her who ne'er expected me.

And then I went with wary tread,
Her sweet surprise to greet with glee;
To where her lamplit lattice shed
A rosy radiance on the lea:
. . . And then my heart sank low like lead,
Two shadows on the blind to see.

A man was sitting on the bed,
And she was nudely on his knee. . . .
I saw her face drain white with dread,
I saw her lover madly flee. . . .
Oh how her blood is ruby red,
And I await the gallows tree

by Robert William Service

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