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Song of Klee

The story of Rue Story & Illustrations by

Norm Nanstiel

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Once within a hamlet

that once was known as Klee high upon the chalky cliffs above the sounding sea

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Within a whitewashed shanty,

lived a poor young lad named Rue And all are around the little town, Rue rode his donkey Blue

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His face was

dappled dirty, his tunic torn and worn Rue’s wide-eyed stare was always there, till twilight time from morn

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From Rue’s

slanted shoulder, a homemade harp was hung and for a smile, a happy tune, upon it he would strum 7


No one could name these melodies Rue could not speak or sing His words were notes that filled the air With thoughts of lovely things

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Now one day fair,

a lass with hair as golden as the sun Along the road from Racamill, a-passing Klee did come

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She topped a fine white mare, she did, with tasseled rein and hood and sunlight sparkled cross her cloak, as she rode ‘round the wood

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Before her there,

with full fanfare, a company for to tend

Rode flank to flank, in file and rank, the fair lass to defend

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There at the crooked

crossroads, beneath a tree of haws Untimely as it seemed to be, Rue’s donkey chose to pause

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He sat within the

narrow street, with careless patience for to eat the ripe red fruit that dropped so sweet on the crossroads ‘round his feet

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Rue did push and Rue did yank

upon the beast’s rein and flank But no deed done seemed to persuade true Blue’s mind from his meal that day

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Still advanced

the maiden’s clan, busily, some hurried plan

Their mind upon a distant deed, toward which now they all did speed

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When what upon the lad and beast, the noble leader’s eye did feast

Time was to terse to rein or whoa, the path too tight to turn and go

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So suddenly the horse did halt,

from his saddle this sire did vault

whom with lack of thought for grace, did flatly fall on his fine face 17


Then from the rear

formation come, the noble riders one by one To thump and bump, clatter and slump into one magnificent dump

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All the clambering,

cursing and stammering, drew Blue’s mind away from his meal All the muttering, dusting and sputtering, soon a laughing bray Blue did peal

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Startled by

such crude commotion, the maiden’s mare soon took a notion

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To rear and prance on her hind feet, until the lass did lose her seat


Down upon the tufted grass,

beside the road did roll the lass Till finally she came to rest, her curls and petticoats all a mess 21


Ker-plunk, Ker-plop, right on the street, in the crossroads, right at Rue’s feet A sympathetic smile grew on the face of our sweet Rue

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The lass did share amusement there,

then laughed and shook her golden hair As Rue did strum upon his harp, a happy tune to lift the heart

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The sun then sparkled through each tree to warm this dancing melody The lass, enthralled, still laughed along then lifted sweet to loving song

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She sang as if she always knew

the fond and gentle heart of Rue ‘Cross the meadow the sound did grow then through the streets of Klee did flow

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All the townsfolk came to hear

this harmony that pleased the ear And all who came were touched with awe at what they heard and what they saw

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There on the road outside of Klee,

beneath the ripening red haw tree The sweetest song that e’er was heard from pluck of harp and trill of word 27


Rue’s gaze of

adoration drew the maiden’s blush of love so true and love so pure from eyes so young did still the heart of everyone 28


The humble peasantry of Klee

and noblemen alike did see that none could ever come between a love so blessed as they had seen

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The

noble leader did decree that Rue should join their company

and travel to their castle grand, there to take the lass’s hand

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The years have passed—

some few, they say, since Rue and Blue have gone away But still the folks of Klee will muse about the love song of sweet Rue’s

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Some swear if you sit silently

on chalky cliffs above the sea Within the soft night breeze you’ll hear a sound so distant yet so clear

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It just may be

Rue’s harp you hear followed by a voice so dear

And it will be

the sweetest song that you will hear your whole life long 33


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Credits, etc.

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Profile for Norm Nanstiel

Song of Klee – The story of Rue  

A story of a young peasant boy named Rue who can't speak but can play wonderful music on his harp. One day a young princess literally stumbl...

Song of Klee – The story of Rue  

A story of a young peasant boy named Rue who can't speak but can play wonderful music on his harp. One day a young princess literally stumbl...

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