The Young Peddlars by P. L. Travers

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Stolen songs in knapsacks, songs of joy and pain,
We've been over all the world, there and back again,\
   Piping down the windy ways,
   Dancing, singing through the days,
We, the ragged rhymers, gypsies out of Spain.

Feathers red within our caps, shod with purple shoon,
Jingling silver in our hands stolen from the moon.
   Gold have we a-plenty -- see
   Splashes of the sun! Ah, we --
We are rich in wonder, ask of us a boon!

Ask of Pam for laughter, pay her with a kiss,
Buy of love from Rose-at-ear, she's the wench for bliss,
   Give us all your saddened years,
   We'll make beauty from your tears
So you've love and laughter nothing is amiss.

Hector knows a story to charm you should you weep,
And Jock can twang a ballad upon his fiddle deep.
   Or  Pirouette, to still your sights
   Will brush her lips across your eyes
And set your feet to music, till, wearied you will sleep.

Would you know our secret? Youth with Hope empearled
Is woven into garments and round our bodies curled;
   Sorrow, Laughter, Love and Tears,
   Skipping with us down the years,
We, the ragged rhymers, singing to the world!

First published in The Bulletin, 12 April 1923

Author: Pamela Lyndon Travers (1899-1996) was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Maryborough, Queensland.  Best known for her series of children's novels featuring the English nanny, Mary Poppins, Travers began her working life as a cashier before the stage beckoned.  She then moved to journalism while living in New Zealand.  She traveled to Ireland and then to England, where she settled, in 1924.  The first of her Mary Poppins story collections was published in 1934, which made her a literary success in both the US and UK.  She died in London in 1996.

Author reference sites: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 12, 2011 8:26 AM.

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