The Shepherd Boy

A shepherd boy, once happened
Once happened to pass through this land
And he said to me on a starlit night
When the moon was low, and the hills were bright
And his face glowed in the firelight
He said,
“This may be
The last I see
Of you, my friend
For though I love you
(and truer words I never spoke), I cannot stay
But wander away
Like my herd of sheep
I needs must find a pasture new
A glade to sleep
And air and sun to keep
Me for the day

And there are lands I have not seen
And places where I have not been
Towns and valleys, mountains, seas
Kingdoms, woodlands, treasures and keys
I’ve yet to find
And mysteries unsolved in my mind
My dear, oh, know that
You will always be
In my heart – but ‘tis a restless thing
A burning, aching, questioning
A winged thing that yearns to fly
So, my love
I must pass you by
Tonight…”
And he looked wistful, deep and sad
But in his eyes, I saw the dreams
I never had
Then I did not understand
So cry and weep and moan did I
And thought my heart was breaking
But he just sadly shook his head,
Kissed my hand, and taking
His one brown bag, his staff of wood
I heard him softly singing
“The Stars shall be my guide tonight”
The sheep-bells were a-ringing
He walked into the lonely night
And he
was gone…

**
When many a year
had drifted by
And a grown young woman was I
With a child upon my knee
One day I heard a passing breeze
Of news from travelers in the land
About a shepherd boy
A shepherd boy who’d fought
In wars, both great and small
On this earth, with swords and armor
And on the battlefields of his soul
A shepherd boy who’d crossed the mountains
And sailed the seven seas
Who had met with monks and mystics
And slain countless enemies
He was a seer, they said
No man was he
But an angel, they said
The First Land he had seen

Yet sometimes he would speak of one,
They said
A woman he loved, loyally
“But it is said, she did not care
For him as much as he
She was only
A simple soul, a village serf
And he too great for mortal love

But now,” they said, “he has gone away
To his Home far up Above
He died in his sleep
Beneath a sycamore tree
And we are going to pay our respects
At the obsequies.”

**
Sometimes I wonder
What would have passed
If he had stayed with me
Sometimes I wonder
How things would be
Had I let him go, free
Perhaps he might
Have come back…

And this I learnt
Too late, I fear
Now, naught can be done, to undo
Already he has gone too far
For me to follow through

So many ‘mights’ swim in my head
And ‘if onlys’ too
But now I know, ‘tis folly
To bind
The ones you love most true

Tonight, it is, a lovely night
A purple, deep and still
And somewhere in the distance
Over the dusky hills
There comes to me a voice, I’ve heard
A voice I’ve heard, that cries
“The Stars shall be your guide tonight
To Eternity’s sunrise
To Love, and Truth, and Freedom
And a shepherd boy, who flies…”

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One thought on “The Shepherd Boy

    AmmarAziz said:
    October 4, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Loved it!

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