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The Travelling Entertainers

Sweet are the notes the Guitarist play
And sweeter still the Songman's lay
As he sings the songs of bygone day
Of his Homeland many miles away.

In the lounge room of this city pub
Known as the dog and horseman's club
Sit customers sipping their beers
And listening with attentive ears

The Guitarist's pale and wrinkled face
Showed he had been to many a place
The dark striped suit and shirt he wore
Were relics of a foreign shore.

His unkept hair so long and black
Seemed to grow along his back
His musical fingers long and slight
Played music to the heart's delight.

The Songman dark haired flecked with gray
Told middle age was on it's way
His craggy features also showed
That he too had travelled many a road.

With open necked shirt, brown pants, dark coat
He looked just like a travelling poet
And his audience learned to their delight
That he did write poems and could recite.

He'd been around he'd travelled far
And he'd sung in many an inn and bar
His sweet and mellow singing voice
Made all his listeners hearts rejoice.

A hushed silence fell o'er one and all
In the lounge room of the bar room hall
As the Guitarist plucked his guitar strings
And the Songman he commenced to sing.

He sang of a young beauty queen
The lovely brown haired woman Eileen
With soft and silky and fair skin
Her beauty won the hearts of men.

Oh she had beauty, beauty rare
A lovely head of nut brown hair
A well curved body charm and grace
A winning smile and pretty face.

But this woman lovely to behold
Died young just twenty two years old
And with her she took to her tomb
Her unborn baby in her womb.

Had the babe been born the songman would have been a dad
But the paths of life are strange and sad
And the song he sang was true to life
Because Eileen was the songman's wife.

At the song's end there was a short pause
Followed by a loud burst of applause
And when the applause had ceased the guitarist struck a note
For another song from the songman poet.

In his next ballad the songman told
Of the courageous men so true and bold
Who died under gunfire of invader hand
Fighting for their native Land.

The blood these gallant heroes shed
Turned the green, green grass to red,
Men who fought and did not cower
From the forces of a greater power.

Men who had nothing to gain
But loved their Country Just the same
Their fight to set their Country free
Made them a part of history.

There was more applause when the song did end
For the songman and his guitarist friend
His ballad they warmly did applaud
And the guitarist backing music laud

He next sang of his Homeland in Spring
When the little birds commenced to sing
With the lengthening day and shortening night
And the mild spring showers and sun's warm light.

When the mountain hare it left the heath
And moved to where the grass was sweet
And hedge and tree grew leaves of green
And moorhen chirped in peaceful stream.

With the green grass growing
And the soft winds blowing
And pheasants in the meadows crowing
And mothers to their young calves lowing.

And leggy foal suckled mother mare
And gold billed blackbird sang his share
And skylark sung his song of joy
Between the earth and serene sky.

And red haired vixen beast of prey
Felt hungry and eager to slay
She had to work hard to survive
And keep her fast growing cubs alive.

And Nature's flowers adorned the meads
And wild duck nest midst tall swamp reeds
And sparrows busy all the day
Building their nest with bits of hay.

Under their mothers watchful eye
Young lambs in pastures pranced with joy
And songthrush piped his sweet, sweet song
And robin sang the whole day long.

There was more applause for the songman poet
And the song that he himself had wrote
And the guitarist's heart it got a raise
With further words of well earned praise.

The songman sang in his next lay
Of the Summer days so bright and gay
When the sun it spread it's glowing warm ray
O'er his Homeland many miles away

The dark winged swallows kings of flight
Were back home where they first saw light
And the old familiar cuckoo sound
Of the cuckoo back on his homeground.

To his audience it seemed a dream
As he sang of flower fringed mountain streams
Of trout that wore the rainbow hue
And grass sprinkled with morning dew.

The blind and naked nestlings eat their fill
Of the food their parents brought in bill
Whilst the fledgelings busied themselves trying
To master the crafty art of flying

He sang of sunny days and cloudless skies
Full of bees and moths and butterflies
Of cool evenings and gentle breeze
And birds piping on leafy trees.

Fair roses bloomed in sun's warm heat
And new mown meadows scented sweet
And schoolboys holidaying from school
Enjoyed themselves in river pool.

By the listeners applause one could easily tell
That the song of Summer pleased them well
And the Songman showed his appreciation
By thanking them for their great ovation.

And then he changed from song to rhyme
As he told of his Homeland in Autumn time
When the cornfields turned from green to gold
A sight of beauty to behold.

The apples ripe were picked to eat,
The juicy pear it tasted sweet
And the maiden sang her song so merry
As she picked for jam the wild blackberry.

And winds less warmer blew more strong
And birds indulged less in sing song
And though pleasant enough the shortening day
One could sense Winter on the way.

The swallow flew with family
Towards warmer climes beyond the sea
And shabby looked the shedding tree
With it's leaves parting company.

October winds and cold, cold showers
Stunted grass growth and killed the flowers
The sky turned dull and overcast
And Winter was approaching fast.

And thus ended the Songman's rhyme
Which he told so well of Autumn time
And he immediately commenced his final song
of the Winter months so cold and long.

The leafless trees once green and fair
Looked bleak without their leafy hair
The gale force winds were blowing violent
And the little birds they now were silent.

And with the gales came heavy rains
To swell the rivers streams and drains
And then came frost followed by snow
And cold the bitter winds did blow.

Many the bird lay in death sleep
Amidst the snow so cold and deep
Winter with perishing breath
Had blown the icy winds of death.

The blackbird worked hard with his feet
As he scratched by hedge for worms to eat
And hungry robin by back door fed
on crumbs of after tea time bread.

Came rain and sun to melt the snow
And signs of Spring commenced to show
The daisy's face showed overground
A sign that Spring was coming round.

Cruel Winter had blown itself out
And trees new leaves began to sprout
And singing birds were welcoming
The death of Winter, birth of Spring.

He ended to a loud encore
Of we want more please sing some more
But the Songman said sorry folk we've got to go
it's closing time the clock says so.

Tomorrow night these travelling men
Will entertain in Holly Inn
A fairly well known rural pub
Thirty miles from Dog and Horseman's Club.

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Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

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