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When he first saw the elven maid he said she’d won his heart
He told her he would die inside if ever they would part
She said that she would go with him and mortal she would be
Unless a day would come that his hand hit her one, two, three

She knew not why but understood this was her peoples’ way
Third time a human husband strikes is the leaving day
Together they were happy a couple young in love
They seemed to suit each other like a hand will suit a glove

There came a day he saw her singing to the orchard wood
Enticing it to grow in ways that only faerie could
In fear she would be caught and dealt with in the human fashion
He hit her for the first time: once was in passion

There came a day he felt the ox could work a little harder
And so he hit with a whip so that it would pull farther
She tried to stop him doing it, whips aren’t the faerie way
Upset, her hit her with it: anger being second’s way

There came a night he’d drinking been in the nearby inn
She was still up when he came home for reasons he couldn’t fathom
He never thought of what she might have wanted to share with him
He simply felt a rage and then third time emerged from within

Something he’d not cared to ask and so had never known
She had been with child that day, one to call her own
For faerie human coupling a child is rather rare
His child died that very night when he had ceased to care

Next day he was out to work like any other day
But that night he came home to find that she had gone away
On the table she had left a sadly worded note
And he did weep when he did read the words that she had wrote

Once might be by passion driven
Twice in a moment of anger, forgiven
But once there is rage, and you choose to grab it
Then leave I must, for it’s become habit

He searched for her near he searched for her far
He found not a trace of her anywhere
As for her, she now knew the rule of three
Had reason, though still her tears flowed free

For once had been by passion driven
Twice had been anger which she had forgiven
But rage was the point where she had to leave it
Because it meant hitting her had become habit
And she was no longer safe