The Blackbird of St. Mary’s
The Blackbird of Saint Mary’s (‘Pray for the dead — And fight like hell for the living.” — Mary Harris, Mother Jones.)
O the Blackbird of St. Mary’s Sings to welcome in each day; He hops upon each tombstone And drops a note to say: “Although my mate was beautiful The song I sing is sad, For she is lying with these others, She is lying with these others The only love, the only love I had.
“She was sleek and she was tender And she built the finest nest; And her eggs of spotted turquoise, She held them to her breast. But the Black Cat of Kilkenny He took away her life, And he’s left me sad and lonely, O he’s left me sad and lonely, And pining for my wife.”
O the four eggs in her silken nest Lie staring at the moon, And though the light sits on them They won’t be cracking soon. Like the tombs that stand about them They are filled with futile bones, There was no one who could aid them, There was no one who could aid them Mother Earth nor Mother Jones.
O the Blackbird of St. Mary’s
Sings the saddest song you’d hear,
For the black cat got his true love
And her bones are lying near. Those eggs that soon will moulder And-lose-their turquoise spotted sheen Are abandoned and forgotten, They’re abandoned and forgotten In their silken mausoleum.
And the Blackbird of St. Mary’s, The Blackbird of St. Mary’s Sings the saddest song he owns.
— © Frank Callery, April 22nd, 2017.