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Swallow Song


This is a children’s poem by an anonymous 7th Century B.C. Greek Poet.
The coming of the swallow heralded celebrations and Halloween-like tricks.
The children carried a statue of a swallow door to door when “trick or treating”.
It is translated by Alice and David Park.

She’s come!
The swallow has come,
with her bright white belly,
and her blue-black back,
bringing fair seasons,
and hours of fun.
Roll out the rich pastries
from the big house,
with glasses of cola
and everything else.
The little swallow isn’t picky,
She’ll eat anything that’s sticky.

Are we going to get some eats?
Are you going to send us off?
No way!
We’ll steal away the door and linchpin
and the woman in the kitchen.
We’ll drag her out on her tummy.
But if you do give us something,
make it something really yummy.
Open the door, let the swallow in.
We’re not old men – we’re children!

© Alice and David Park 1996

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