The Ballad of John Barleycorn and Annabel Lee

                              The Ballad of John Barleycorn and Annabel Lee

Ah, John Barleycorn, when will your harvest be done?
So long at work, even for a good countryman.
Ah, John Barleycorn, when will your harvest be done?
So late in the fields, far from me, my countryman.

Our daughter, Mary, sleeps in her cradle,
and our son, Jonathan, drinks ale with the shepherd men
in the market village inn.
Ah, John Barleycorn, when are you coming home again?

I was a quiet, homely maid when we met.
You’re the harvest man who came to court me,
silent even then.
Ah, John Barleycorn, when are you coming home again?

So called the countryman’s wife, Annabel Lee,
her long hair and her shawl blowing in the sun
and the harvest breeze.
Then to her, he turned to see.
O, John Barleycorn, come walking home beneath the trees.

Ah, Annabel Lee, my harvest work is now done.
Under the silver moon, come and make love with me.
Ah, Annabel Lee, as when Eden had begun,
let’s be naked in love beneath the apple tree.

Ah, Annabel Lee, you are a good wife to me,
now here I am beside you, come walk home with me.
Ah, Annabel Lee, you wore a hood round your heart,
you lived in a cottage in a coomb by the sea.

Ah, Annabel Lee, help me remember first days,
ballads I sang for you while you made apple pie.
Ah, Annabel Lee, I know your holy wife ways,
we make love in our bed until with tears we cry.

Ah, Annabel Lee, only you truly talk with me.
In my harvest work, I write true love songs for thee.
Ah, Annabel Lee, now unbutton your dress for me,
your hair long and starry under the apple tree.

Ah, Annabel Lee, with you beside me,
summer will never leave the sky.
My mouth is warm and dry, like the cider you gave me.
Ah, Annabel Lee, when dawn wakes the birds,
they will sing for you and I.
I left my hoe and my plough in the fields, far behind me.

Ah, John Barleycorn, when will your harvest be done?
So long at work, even for a good countryman.
Ah, John Barleycorn, when will your harvest be done?
So late in the fields, far from me, my countryman.

O, John Barleycorn,
John Barley, John Barleycorn.
At the end of the road a golden tree,
and the golden woman you waited to marry.
O, John Barleycorn,
John Barley, John Barleycorn.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Ballad of John Barleycorn and Annabel Lee”

    1. Many thanks to you, S.C. Hickman. I am glad you like my ballad. I wrote it years ago as a slow folk song style ballad, but I think it works well enough on the page as a poem. Information about my book, Angel War, can be found if you click where it says Angel War by Philip Dodd.

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