Poem: Lady Weeping at the Crossroads

I must admit I am not the biggest poetry fan. But, ironically, I love music! For me, it is much easier to connect to a message when sung, with music reflecting the singer’s interpretation of the meaning. And talking of music and poetry, yesterday I remembered Carla Bruni and her album No Promises. There, the Italo-French singer adds music to her favourite English poems. My favourite piece of the whole album is Lady Weeping at the Crossroads, a poem from 1940 by W.H Auden full of sadness but, somehow, hope. I think the woman in the poem feels lost but, at the same time, it makes the world hers: there is a sense of infinity surrouding her. So here you have both the original poem and the song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Lady Weeping at the Crossroads

Lady, weeping at the crossroads,
Would you meet your love
In the twilight with his greyhounds,
And the hawk on his glove?

Bribe the birds then on the branches,
Bribe them to be dumb,
Stare the hot sun out of heaven
That the night may come.

Starless are the nights of travel,
Bleak the winter wind;
Run with terror all before you
And regret behind.

Run until you hear the ocean’s
Everlasting cry;
Deep though it may be and bitter
You must drink it dry,

Wear out patience in the lowest
Dungeons of the sea,
Searching through the stranded shipwrecks
For the golden key,

Push on to the world’s end, pay the
Dread guard with a kiss,
Cross the rotten bridge that totters
Over the abyss.

There stands the deserted castle
Ready to explore;
Enter, climb the marble staircase,
Open the locked door.

Cross the silent ballroom,
Doubt and danger past;
Blow the cobwebs from the mirror
See yourself at last.

Put your hand behind the wainscot,
You have done your part;
Find the penknife there and plunge it
Into your false heart.


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