Follow the Gypsy Rover's Trail

Updated on July 17, 2019
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

Source

Inspiration for This Poem

Some time ago I enjoyed reading a poem written by Rudyard Kipling about gypsies. I couldn't recall the name of it but a Google search for gypsy poems by Kipling came up with "The Gipsy (sic)Trail.

Where I have the lines "Follow the gypsy rover's trail" Kipling's poem read "Follow the Romani patteran."

Patteran

Noun

  1. Any of several coded signs left along a road or on a non-Roma house by one Rom to another. The most common ones consist of crossed sprigs (usually of different trees or shrubs) indicating, for example, a direction travelled.

Origin

From Romani patrin (“leaf”), perhaps specifically from an infected form like the Vlax Romani pateryánsa.

Follow the Gypsy Rover’s Trail

The white hawk hovers overhead,

A moth’s drawn to a candles flame

And the roving gypsy travels the land,

Ne’er two places the same.


“Ne’er two places the same, my dear,

I’ll follow a trail that’s true,

To the other side of the world and back,

But always returning to you.”


So leave your home in the Romani camp

Away from the fog of moors,

A new dawn beckons at the end of Earth,

As a gypsy the world is yours.


The black bear goes to the stream to fish,

The frogmouth owl to her nest,

And the Romani lad to the Romani lass

At the end of his roving quest.


The lizard runs in the ruffled grass,

The deer to the wooded glen,

And the Romani lad and the Romani lass

Will be reunited again.


Will be reunited again, again!

When he returns from his trek,

Following the path of the gypsy trail

To the ends of the Earth and back.


Source

Follow the gypsy rover’s trail

North where the long ships sail,

And bows break through the seas of ice,

And the masts are pocked with hail.


Follow the gypsy rover’s trail

To the west where the sleepy sun sets,

Where everything’s different from all that you know

And you see things you’ll never forget.


Follow the gypsy rover’s trail

East to the Orient’s charm,

Where the sunrise highlights the sampans sails

On seas that are silent and calm.


The eagle soars high on currents of air,

The wolf to his home in the woods,

And the heart of a man to the heart of a maiden

Is a symbol of all that is good.


And the love of a man for the love of a maiden,

A Romani boy for a girl.

A new day awaits when we follow our hearts

And all the worlds wonders unfurl.


Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 John Hansen

    Comments

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        What a beautiful comment Rinita. Your words humble me, especially coming from another poet such as yourself. Having our work appreciated by others is what makes it all worthwhile. Yes, all is well..have been on a road trip and on the home stretch now.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        2 months ago

        Even though I am a poet myself, your poetry strengthens my belief in the power of poetry, the power of life, the journey that lies before us, and the destination - love.

        I hear you through this amazing Gypsy story, narrated in your intoxicating style.

        Hope all is well, my friend.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha Li-Jen, thanks for clearing that up. Glad my poem took you on a journey.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        2 months ago

        Haha thanks Jodah! Actually I meant travelling inside your poem..in my mind.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Li-Jen. Happy travels to you. I hope you write about where you have been.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        2 months ago

        Hey Jodah. Thanks for taking us on a gypsy rover's trail. I am travelling as I read your poem. Nice scenery and the flow of the poem too, with the different directions like north and west.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Ann, thank you so much. I am glad I was able to capture those images effectively through the rhythm of the poem. I appreciate the kind comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Oh thank you so much Jo. There is no better compliment then someone saying they feel “this is the best you have written.” It means I am continuing to improve as a writer, and that’s what I aim for. I am not an expert poetry critic either, but I know what I like.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Shauna. Story poems are my favourites too. I am glad the imagery shone through for you.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        Great poem, John! The rhythm reflects the pace of a horse and caravan and the words take us along many different tracks and destinations - well done! I agree with Jo; one of your best indeed.

        Ann

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        2 months ago from Tennessee

        Even though my husband writes poetry and I'm fond of the genre, I have to admit I'm unsure of myself as a poetry critic Nevertheless, this is one of the best poems of your I've read. Enjoyed it very much.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 months ago from Central Florida

        John, I love when you poetry tells a story. This one evokes beauty, freedom to roam, and longing.

        Your imagery is clear, peaceful, and full of life.

        I love this, my friend!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Lora. I appreciate you reading this poem and also your wonderful comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        2 months ago

        Lovely verses that conjure vivid imagery in this rhythmical flow of words, John. I love your poem about the gypsy rover's trail and his journey to the ends of the earth. A wonderful way to end this adventure in words: "A new day awaits when we follow our hearts. And all the worlds wonders unfurl." Thanks for sharing.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Great to see you Chris, and I always value our comments my friend. I am so glad you enjoyed this poem and feel it worthy of a return. Cheers.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

        Well, John, I'm glad I finally got over here before this tremendous poem was much older. I enjoyed it thoroughly and will likely be back to enjoy it again.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        What a lovely comment, Genna. I am glad I managed to capture “the gypsy spirit.” Thank you so much for reading and enjoying.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        This is a superb poem, John, with beautiful flow and imagery. I love how it captures the romance and adventure of the wandering "gypsy spirit", with reflections of nature, that to certain degree, is within us all. This was a delight to read.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Pamela. I always appreciate you reading my poetry and commenting.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        3 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I enjoyed this poem about a gypsy following his heart to find his love. I liked the historical aspects as the words flowed beautifully. Another very good poem, John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Sean thank you for taking the time to share the wonderful lyrics of that song Nomad. Very appropriate. Have a great day my brother.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        My dear brother I came back to share with you a favourite song of mine, Nomad by Iron Maiden. I think you'll understand why!

        "Like a mirage riding on the desert sand

        Like a vision floating with the desert winds

        Know the secret of the ancient desert lands

        you're the keeper of the mystery in your hands

        Nomad rider of the ancient east

        Nomad rider that men know the least

        Nomad where you come from no one knows

        Nomad where you go to no one tells

        Undercover of the veil of your disguise

        The men that fear you are the ones that you despise

        No one's certain what your future will behold

        You're a legend your own history will be told

        Nomad rider of the ancient east

        Nomad rider that men know the least

        Nomad where you come from no one knows

        Nomad where you go to no one tells

        No one dares to even look or glance your way

        Your reputation goes before you they all say

        Like a spirit that can disappear at will

        Many claim of things but no one's seen you kill

        Nomad, you're the rider so mysterious

        Nomad, you're the spirit that men fear in us

        Nomad, you're the rider of the desert sands

        No man's ever understood your genius

        Those who see you in horizon desert sun

        Those who fear your reputation hide or run

        You send before you a mystique that's all your own

        Your silhouette is like a statue carved in stone

        Nomad, you're the rider so mysterious

        Nomad, you're the spirit that men fear in us

        Nomad, you're the rider of the desert sands

        No man's ever understood your genius

        Legend has it that you speak an ancient tongue

        But no one's spoke to you and lived to tell the tale

        Some they say that you have killed a hundred man

        Others say that you have died and live again

        Nomad, you're the rider so mysterious

        Nomad, you're the spirit that men fear in us

        Nomad, you're the rider of the desert sands

        No man's ever understood your genius"

        Peace always!

        Sean

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you John.

      • profile image

        John Ward 

        3 months ago

        Very good.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Ruby. Thank you for the lovely comment. You are the second person who said this reads like a song. Let me know if you remember the name of the one it reminds you of.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hello brother Sean. It is always a pleasure to receive a comment from you. I like to have variety in what I write and cover as many subjects and different atmospheres as possible. Glad you enjoyed this. Blessings.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I am glad you enjoyed this poem, Chitrangada. Thanks for the kind comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Liz, thanks for reading. I am glad I managed to capture the appropriate atmosphere in this poem.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        3 months ago from Southern Illinois

        This is another piece of beautiful poetry. It reminds me of a song and I can't remember the title. Loved this John.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        You always have something new to pleasantly surprise us, my dear brother, John! Amazing atmosphere! Thank you for the journey!

        Blessings from a gypsy Heart!

        Sean

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Wonderful poem and beautiful imagery. Loved going through.

        The pictures are so lively. Thanks for sharing.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        This is a very atmospheric poem. The style is fitting for a romany tale.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Eric, I am glad this brought back memories of your days in Europe in the 70s. Life is made for living.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        I took off to Europe in about 1973. My mom made clear to follow the gypsy way. At this time it meant those of experience in the hostels I stayed in. And then off I was to where they said to go where beer flowed and pot was smoked and girls were friendly.

        Nothing better than a sleeping bag next to a lake south of the Alps. Perhaps I will go back and work on a farm again. Thanks for reminding me with your always wonderful gift of love of life.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Bill, glad you enjoyed the meal of poetry and history.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I reread the poem after you said you started singing it Mary. I agree it probably could be a song. Thank you or that thought. Glad you enjoyed and it reminded you of The Caravan.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Nithya, thank you. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading Flourish. I appreciate your comment.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        The history lesson was a bonus, a fine dessert served after the main course of delicious poetry!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        As I read your poem, I started singing it. It lends to singing and I wish I have that gift but sadly I don't. Enjoyed it.Made me think of James Michener's book, The Caravan.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 months ago from Dubai

        Great poem, you have brought out the scenic beauty of the trail so beautifully in your poem.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        This flowed well and there was a certain lightness and whimsy to it. Well done.

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