The gardens are laid in rows and lines
by David Lewis Paget
Laid out like a colourful maze,
The gates are open from eight ‘til nine,
All week, and Saturdays.
But Sundays they open the gates ‘til ten
They are lit by coloured lights,
I like to wander the strange pathways
But prefer to go by night.
I tell my Sally she ought to come
But she never has, ‘til now,
Her head is always stuck in a book
She's what you might call highbrow.
One Sunday night, she said she'd come
We got to the gates by eight,
The lights were twinkling in the groves
And the Moon had risen late.
We walked by the beds of petunias,
Snapdragons and daffodils,
The heady perfume was rising up
And strange, but it gave me chills.
We took a fork where the wood was dense
With natives, bushes and trees,
But Sally tripped by a eucalypt,
And ended skinning her knees.
We sat on a garden bench nearby
And mentioned how quiet it was,
The pathway there was a yellow brick
Just like the Wizard of Oz.
We thought, ‘We're the only ones in here, '
By ten, but she couldn't walk,
I said, ‘We'll wait ‘til the gardener comes,
We'll sit on the bench and talk.'
We sat for over an hour out there,
We sat discussing things,
Mother-of-pearl, the state of the world,
The cost of engagement rings.
But then a shadow had passed us by
Behind a hedge and a tree,
And out there popped the head of a man,
‘Are you two looking for me? '
He couldn't have been but four foot two,
But hidden behind the trees,
His body never came into view
But he had two pointed ears.
I told him Sally had skinned her knees
And she couldn't walk just then,
He said he'd send for his volunteers,
‘But beware the Pathways Men! '
An hour went by and the lights went out
We began to fear the dark,
Then three young misses in party dress
Danced up from the outside park.
‘We've come to carry your lady home,
Follow us if you may, '
Then plucked poor Sally out of my arms,
And danced down a strange pathway.
I don't know why it escaped my eye,
It hadn't been there before,
I tried to follow but found myself
Entangled, both foot and claw.
My path was blocked by three strange men
Linked up, to stand in my way,
‘Don't think to enter the faery glen
Or your woman will waste away.'
I've searched the gardens, I've searched the grounds
I've searched in the nights and days,
I've called for Sally a hundred times
And lost myself in the maze.
But late at night there's an eerie sound
Like someone playing a lute,
Down at the end of some strange pathway
Where they grow forbidden fruit.
22 October 2014