Alone in a tree, silent and still
For whom is the sorrow that brought on this chill?
A pair chase each other from rooftop to tree
Are their calls laughter? It seems so to me
The trio stood ready, awaiting the union
The bells of the church announced holy communion
The quartet convened, an idea would come
A plan is born greater than their own sum
Five of them rise from the ground all together
Silver in sunlight reflects from the feather
It took all six to balance the symmetry
Shining like gold in this sacred geometry
Seven to know and never to crow
Entered the circle of secrets, heads low
Eight gates to the churchyard, eight members arrayed
To glimpse heaven’s glory all eight of them stayed
Taking the bait all nine of them landed
How could this be evil? All caught red handed
The ten of them showed. How much is owed?
Enough for a murder, the devil has crowed
When it reaches eleven what can be read?
Waiting for something, salvation ahead?
A dozen pass over, work done and well fed
Returning at sunset to nest and to bed
Informed by the following version of the old rhyme and additional analysis:
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a wedding
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret, never to be told
Eight for heaven
Nine for hell
Ten for the Devil's very own sel'
One: Sorrow. An unhappy event. A change for the worse. Maybe loss or a death.
Two: Joy. A surprise. A change for the better. Sometimes the finding of something.
Three: Marriage. A celebration. Sometimes the birth of a female child. Other times some significant event around a daughter.
Four: Birth. Usually the birth of a male child. Sometimes a significant event surrounding a son.
Five: Silver. Sometimes costly. Usually a positive transaction.
Six: Gold. Wealth. Sometimes money. Maybe greed. Occasionally a negative transaction.
Seven: Something of spiritual significance. Often a secret. In some cases witchcraft, or the performing of sacred rites.
Eight: Something profound. Death, dying, or a glimpse of Heaven. A life-altering journey or experience.
Nine: Something sensual. Passion, or forbidden delight. In some versions this is corruption, in others it is closer to temptation.
Ten: Something extreme. An overwhelming sensation. Something paid in full.
Eleven: Uncertainty. Waiting. Wanting. May be in relation to a spiritual matter.
Twelve: Fulfillment. Riches (though not always of a material sort). A fruitful labor. Something completed. An end to a problem,or the answer to a question.