The Woman in the Meadow
Donald P. Goodman III
When a beautiful flower arises and blooms in the sunny, clean air of the spring, and its petals reach out to the world as if asking what wonders the future will bring; then along comes a mischievous child who knows not what a splendid new thing he will end, and he tramps on each flower he comes across, killing a glory he can't comprehend.
Just so when the fair robin doth nest on the branch of a flowering black cherry tree, and she lays her blue eggs in the fine, downy bed she's prepar'd for her tiny chicks three; but the crafty racoon eats the bird's helpless eggs, kills the chicks in his hunger for food; But now what have the eggs done to suffer this so, or their mother to lose her dear brood?
And so just as a woman who wears a white dress and ties up her long fiery red hair while she walks the green meadow in summertime, watching the flow'rs and the birds in the air; when arises a hateful, cruel villain who tears her white dress and cuts off that red mane; leaving tears, blood, and sorrow where once there was gladness; in place of her happiness, pain.
Yet the child knoweth not what he doth; the racoon has to eat just as much as the chicks; but the villain knows well that he tears her white dress, that he ruins what none can then fix; and while flowers once crush'd can regrow, and the robin can once again lay in her nest, can the dress be untorn? can the hair be uncut? can her heart be replac'd in her breast?
Oh, what po'er doth permit such fell deeds to be done to a woman so fair and unsoil'd? How doth innocence suffer so cruelly? how cruelty so hateful go so long unfoil'd? And what comfort is there for the woman, who's done nothing wrong and yet still suffers so? Oh, what comfort for one who has lost what cannot be replac'd to a cruelty so low?
Yet the woman gets up and continues; she travels along her right path on that day; though her heart has been torn out, her dress has been torn, she will fight to remain on the way; though the scoundrel who harm'd her has still suffer'd naught, and goes on to harm others again, that good woman must trust her red hair that remains, in a justice that she cannot ken.
There are things that the woman knows not, that the villain himself cannot possibly see, for their eyes only face ever forward, their minds in the now must eternally be. And what comfort for one who must suffer? what help for the good can this wretched world lend? She must stay in the meadow, dress torn but intact, and her hair staying red to the end.