The Shadowed Way

I think this one goes best with little introduction. It’s a bit ballad-like again and mystical, dark but ending with hope, and the dying magician figure appears again. The singer coming with seven ships and gold suggests the supernatural ballad “The Demon Lover”, quoted from memory here:


“Seven ships were on the sea

The eighth brought me to land

With gold and silver in great store

And music on every hand


She first set foot upon the deck

No mariners could behold

The sails were of the shining silk

The masts of beaten gold.”




I’ve been away ten thousand nights

But now, you see, I’m back.

You lived with a thousand fears

I carry in my sack.


You saw the wise magician fall

Emptied out by worm

And the turning of the tides

Come to a full term.


You heard the knocking in the night

No shadows cast by moon;

Waited for the morning light

To copy out the rune.


You saw the singer come by sea

With seven ships and gold

Felt the ageing of the tree

And the hand grown old.


The snows will cover all your songs

The dark will kill the flower

The bud will break, with new-born wrongs

And an unquiet hour.


Over the snow the song is sung

And dark gives birth to day;

Remember how the light is sprung

From the shadowed way.



Copyright Simon Banks 2012


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