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Ballad of the Mountain High
The day he lost her it is told
Was many years ago.
She made a move that was too bold
But this she did not know.
At their story’s heart does lie
A thing they call true love.
It begins atop a mountain high
And in the stars above.
One summer night three years before
The day that he did lose her,
They fell in love and what is more
The spirits they did choose her.
For she had gift of open mind,
Not boy nor girl then knew,
And one like that is hard to find;
The spirits knew this true.
Without consent, they trained the girl
For more than two years time
To open herself, let in the world
Till she was in her prime.
When they thought that it was right,
That she was skilled and strong,
They came, the spirits, in the night
Not knowing they were wrong.
They gave her the destiny and mission
She had trained for through the years
And she gave her submission
Though it came with many tears.
She was to take in all the pain,
All the sadness of the earth,
All the guilt of death in vain,
And fill the spaces with her mirth.
She knew she must accept it all;
What was hers to take, she should.
The spirits knew it was her fall
But it was only she who could.
So she set out and found her love,
The boy, though now a man.
They climbed the mountaintop above
And through the grasses ran
Until they lay under stars again
Up on the mountain high.
They both thought it was the end
But could not bear to say goodbye.
So he held her as she took
All the world’s great mass of pain,
And he soothed her as she shook
With sobs for unknown soldiers slain.
She took in loss and sorrow
Until her shaking at last did cease
She would not wake that morrow;
She lay in his arms at peace.
And all the pain of everyone
Was gone with her dying.
The spirits came down with the sun
And found her true love crying.
He saw the spirits shake with fear.
“Do you know what you have done?
Nevermore to be my love, my dear.
No more to through the grasses run.”
How angrily he shouted
And cursed their many names.
The sorrow that he spouted
Dimmed their immortal glows in shame.
And suddenly he was calm and still
For he knew he had done wrong:
Her spirit could not rest until
He could lose his sorrow song.
Her duty was to take away
The pain and sadness of them all
And while in his arms she gently lay
She could not float to Heaven tall.
But suddenly, into the air
She vanished where she had once lain
And when he saw she was not there
His heart was filled with renewed pain.
The spirits heard him cry aloud
But could not bear to see his face.
Of what they’d done they were not proud
But the world’s need trumped their grace.
When the young man ran from the place
They did not try to stop him.
Away from them he did swiftly race.
The grey morning air was grim.
He could not stop, he must slow down.
Filled with pain he had to choose,
But his true love’s death was all around
And her fight she must not lose.
From then the years passed by so slow
And in his heart it only grew:
To the mountain he must go
To see her again, this he knew.
So when he had the strength of mind
He went to lose his pain at last.
Up the mountain alone he climbed.
He took his time, did not go fast.
In the tall grass he sadly lay
Thinking of the sunset gold
Until night consumed the light of day
And the clear stars he did behold.
He called out into the night,
“My dear, my love, where are you now?”
And through the grasses came a light
Like cresting waves at a ship’s bow.
At long last he stood before
And saw her pain in every line.
He simply stood, could not do more.
To this his true love was not blind.
She took a step, and then another,
And soon she was within his arms.
“My knight, I know we love each other
But now your sadness does me harm.
Be happy for me, for I’ve done good
And now I must move on from here
I cannot stay here, though I would,
But now it’s up to you, my dear.
Release your pain and release me.
I know because you love me true
That you can let me go be free
All I need is pain from you.”
He heard her voice and heard her words,
And something told him deep inside
Like when the music has the right chords
Or something leaves you filled with pride:
It was time to let her go
And this was something he could do.
He felt the love inside him grow
To wipe away his pain and blue.
His true love smiled and slowly faded
For he had now set her free.
That moment he would not have traded.
They could now both go and be.
True joy now fills their lives and deaths,
True love binds them always together.
It fills their souls and all their breaths
And content they will go on forever.
Only because he loved her so
Did he know he could let her go.