Lady with a Fan (Terrapin Station: Grateful Dead)


Let my inspiration flow in token rhymes suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me till my tale is told and done
While the fire light's aglow, strange shadows from the flames will grow
Til things we've never seen will seem familiar

Shadows of a sailor form, winds both foul and fair all swarm
Down in Carlisle he loved a lady many years ago
Here beside him stands a man, a solder by the look of him
Who came through many fights but lost at love

While the story teller speaks, a door within the fire creaks
Suddenly flies open and a girl is standing there
Eyes alight with flowing hair, all that fancy paints as fair
She takes her fan and throws it in the lions' den

Which of you to gain me, tell, will risk uncertain pains of hell
I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance
Sailor gave at least a try, soldier being much too wise
Strategy was his strength, not disaster

Sailor coming out again, the lady fairly lept at him
That's how it stands today, you decide if he was wise
Storyteller makes no choice, soon you will not hear his voice
His job is to shed light, not to master

Since the end is never told, we pay the teller off in gold
In hopes he will come back, but he cannot be bought or sold