Dust in a cloud, blinding weather,
Drums that rattle and roar!
A mother and daughter stood together
Beside their cottage door.
‘Mother, the heavens are bright like brass,
The dust is shaken high,
With labouring breath the soldiers pass,
Their lips are cracked and dry.’
‘Mother, I’ll throw them apples down,
I’ll bring them pails of water.’
The mother turned with an angry frown
Holding back her daughter.
‘But mother, see, they faint with thirst,
They march away to die,’
‘Ah, sweet, had I but known at first
Their throats are always dry.’
‘There is no water can supply them
In western streams that flow,
There is no fruit can satisfy them
On orchard trees that grow.’
‘Once in my youth I gave, poor fool,
A soldier apples and water,
So may I die before you cool
Your father’s drouth, my daughter.’