Week 122: If You Should Go To Caistor Town, by Charles Causley

Time for another poem from the excellent Charles Causley, this time showing his almost unique gift for inhabiting the ballad/folksong form and making it his own while retaining all the qualities of the tradition.

If You Should Go To Caistor Town

If you should go to Caistor town,
Where my true love has gone,
Ask her why she went away
And left me here alone.

She said the Caistor sky was blue,
The wind was never cold,
The pavements were all made of pearl,
The young were never old.

Never a word she told me more
But when the year was fled
Upon a bed of brightest earth
She laid her gentle head.

When I went up to Caistor
My suit was made of black,
And all her words like summer birds
Upon the air came back.

O when I went to Caistor
With ice the sky was sown,
And all the streets were chill and grey
And they were made of stone.

Charles Causley


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