“Amadea” Eben Brooks

Welcome, weary traveler; there’s a place here by the fire
Please to tell the serving maid the drink that you desire
And as I gather from the guitar you wear that the minstrel is your way
The drink won’t cost you a penny if you play

Thank you for the offer, but I’m afraid the answer’s no
‘Tis true the minstrel was my way until a day not long ago
In a tavern I met a woman, Amadea was her name
And since that day I cannot play for shame

Do you know this bonnie lass with a voice to turn your heart to glass?
No one living can surpass her when she sings with gifts unflawed
And if you believe you’re of the ken to work wonders with the hearts of men
She’ll steal your book and still your pen
Amadea, loved of God.

When I had sung my measure, she asked if she could play a while
And as she was a bonnie girl, I lent her my guitar and smiled
I expected her to pluck a note or two and give it back
But when her fingers touched those strings, my heart fell slack

She played a lusty tavern song and a ballad full of woe
And when she finished these, they cried for more; they would not let her go
She played until the barman closed the tavern for the night
And when she gave me back my old guitar, I cried

I was tempted to say ‘Keep it, for you need it more than I’
But when I looked up through my tears, another man had caught her eye
I’m sure that sweet diversion kept her waking through the dawn
But I could not sleep, so I paid and I traveled on.

And as I walked along the road, I recalled the songs she sang
And suddenly my heart grew cold as a voice from within me rang
‘Dear God, you gave me just enough to know that I’m no good!’
And I prayed he’d strike me down right where I stood.

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