They say it was awful cold for the bairn,
That she had none to sing her to slumber,
That she scurried behind rocks, cairn to cairn,
And, if she’d tire, she’d slow and lumber.
They say she lived in eternal shiver,
That December had her crawled underground,
That, one dusk, a tawny saw her quiver,
That it peered in, and matched her saddest sound.
They say it’s black eyes grew glum and sodden,
That it led her up from her algid lair,
Down a trail on which no foot had trodden,
To a thatched croft with a fireside to share.
They say she grew little and stayed a waif,
And that, by her tawny owl, she sleeps safe.