My Childhood Was a Willow Tree (text)

My Childhood was a Willow Tree.

1: My childhood was a willow tree,

The skies were sapphire blue,

A brook meandered down below

With zephyrs drifting through.

2: We’d dance in circles holding hands,

We’d wander two by two,

Through palaces of dreams, that one day soon

Would all come true.

3: But childhood passed as childhoods must,

And sapphire skies grew pale

The willow shed its gentle leaves, 

The breeze grew to a gale.

4: And then the firm but gentle touch

Of hands which clasped our own

Now slipped aside and stayed apart

And then we walked alone.

5: Alone, no reassuring touch

Of hands around our own

At first our dreams began to fade

And soon they all had flown.

6: And with no dreams our nights were blank

But days were dreary too

Without our dreams we had no hopes

Of glories to pursue.

7: I still recalled my final dream,

My hands were clasped once more,

While up above the northern lights

Swirled into night-time’s shore.

8: I loved my family, loved my friends,

But I could not remain.

I knew if I could find this place 

Our dreams might come again.

9: I got up early one clear dawn,

And took my coat and pack,

Left home and marched towards the hills

And never once looked back.

10: I used the sun to guide my way,

I kept it on my right,

And when the sky turned into dark

I used the stars by night.

11: Sometimes I’d find a place to stop, 

But found no hand to take,

No northern lights among the stars,

In dreams or wide awake.

12: And then the path came to an end,

With boulders shaped like fists,

I paused for night, to clear my thoughts.

But dawn brought only mists.

13: No trail ahead, no trail behind, 

No sun to guide myself.

I couldn’t stay, nor turn around, 

So I climbed the fist-shaped shelf.

14: Beyond it was another rock,

I climbed up that one too,

And then I climbed a dozen more,

And still there was no view.

15: The mist grew thicker hour by hour,

The rocks did disappear,

And then a voice said, “Who are you?”

And I fainted down in fear.

16: I floated in a pleasant place

I thought that I had died

But then I felt two gentle hands

That clasped mine either side.

17: I opened up my weary eyes

I floated in a lake

Of water warm, where creatures strange

My longing hands did take.

18: And here I dreamed most wondrous dreams,

Of violet, gold, and red,

The present, future, and the past,

All swirled around my head. 

19: Then at midnight all at once

The heavy fog dispersed

And green and purple waves of light

Among the stars did burst.

20: And then I knew that all these dreams

Were meant for more than me.

I had to take them to my land 

For all my friends to see.

21: With heavy heart I bid farewell

And left this strange terrain

My path once lost now seemed quite clear.

I found my home again.

22: And there my friends still danced alone,

With never a nightly dream

And so I built a tub of oak

And filled it from our stream.

23: I warmed the water with smooth rocks

The steam rose up in strands

And then invited one and all

To sit there holding hands.

24: We swam and bobbed, and I reached out

My hand with tender touch

And then a friend reached back to me

With firm but gentle clutch.

25: Soon we dozed, and far above

The green and golden light

Slipped quietly past the wandering stars

And filled us with delight.

26: And then we woke to sapphire skies

And willow trees in leaf

And gentle zephyrs wafting through

A babbling brook beneath.

27: And once a year, midsummer’s eve,

I’d travel on the paths.

To find my strange friends of the rocks,

Relaxing in their bath.

28: And there I’d sit and hold their hands

And gaze up through the mist

And marvel at the northern lights

Pirouetting through the stars.