When I Was A Young Girl

Margaret Widdemer 1884 (Doylestown) – 1978



(A Song of Old Ballads)

WHEN I was a young girl, all in a green arbor,
When I was a young girl in Springtimes gone by
All the long days I went singing and smiling,
Down by the roses the sweet days beguiling,
Love in the arbor and love in the sky . . .
When I was a young girl, a young girl, a young girl,
When I was a young girl, how happy was I!

Oh, the long days I must sit at my sampler,
Oh, the slow way that the still time would go!
I longed to be running across the bright heather,
'Off with the silk gown and on with the leather,
Following the raggle-taggle gypsies, oh!'
When I was a young girl, a young girl, a young girl,
When I was a young girl, a long time ago!

When I was a young girl in days that were golden,
When I was a young girl, and life had no smart,
All the world seemed a place for my playing,
Full of great lovers to come to me, saying,
'Madam, I give you the keys of my heart . . .'
When I was a young girl, a young girl, a young girl,
When I was a young girl, and dreaming apart!

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of my lover,
A tall cavalier who should whisper me low,
'Love, on your lips are red roses a-blowing,
I am your true love, and fast is time going
Am I your true love? Oh, say yes or no!'
When I was a young girl, a young girl, a young girl–
When I was a young girl, a long time ago!

When I was a young girl there came my true lover,
Swiftly I knew him in glad days gone by;
Never a sword or a lovelock or feather,
But oh, at his touch 'twas our hearts came together,
Love in the arbor and love in the sky . . .
When I was a young girl, a young girl, a young girl,
When I was a young girl, how happy was I!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 19, 2023

1:45 min read
174

Quick analysis:

Scheme x abccBDB aeaaeDE xfccfDf aecceDE abaaBDB
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,623
Words 353
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7

Margaret Widdemer

Margaret Widdemer was a U.S. poet and novelist. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1919 for her collection The Old Road to Paradise, shared with Carl Sandburg for Cornhuskers. more…

All Margaret Widdemer poems | Margaret Widdemer Books

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