Ballad of Crossing the Brook
it was a dainty maid that went a-Maying in the morn,
A dainty, dainty maiden
The ways she took were merry and the ways she missed
And the laughing water tinkled
to the sea.
The little leaves above her loved the dainty,
little wind they kissed her, every one;
At the nearing of her little feet the flowers were
And the water lay a-whimpling
in the sun.
Oh, the dainty, dainty maid to the borders of
Lingered down as lightly
as the breeze;
the shy water-spiders quit their scurrying to look;
And the happy water whispered
to the trees.
She was fain to cross the brook, was the dainty,
But first she lifted up
her elfin eyes
To see if there were cavalier or clown a-near
the water-bubbles blinked in surprise.
The brook bared its pebbles to persuade her dainty
But the dainty, dainty
maid was not content.
She had spied a simple country lad (for dainty
And the shy water twinkled
as it went.
As the simple lad drew nigh, then this dainty, dainty
(O maidens, well you know
how it was done!)
Stood a-gazing at her feet until he saw she was
Of the water there a-whimpling
in the sun.
Now that simple lad had in him all the makings
of a man;
he stammered, "I had better lift you over!"
Said the dainty, dainty maid—"Do you
really think you can?"
And the water hid its laughter
in the clover.
So he carried her across, with his eyes cast
And his foolish heart
a-quaking with delight.
the maid she looked him over with her elfin eyes
And the impish water giggled
at his plight.
He reached the other side, he set down the dainty
But he trembled so he
couldn’t speak a word.
Then the dainty, dainty maid—"Thank
you, Sir! Good-day!" she said.
the water-bubbles chuckled as they heard.
Oh she tripped away so lightly, a-Maying in the
That dainty, dainty maiden
She left the simple country lad a-sighing and
Where the mocking water
twinkled to the sea.