(Jerry Garcia / Phil Lesh / Robert Hunter)
The Grateful Dead - 1969
Saint Stephen with a rose,
in and out of the garden he goes,
country garland in the wind and the rain,
wherever he goes the people all complain.
Stephen prospered in his time,
well he may and he may decline.
Did it matter, does it now?
Stephen would answer if he only knew how.
Wishing well with a golden bell,
bucket hanging clear to hell,
hell halfway twixt now and then,
Stephen fill it up and lower down and lower down again.
Lady finger, dipped in moonlight,
writing "What for?" across the morning sky.
Sunlight splatters, dawn with answer,
darkness shrugs and bids the day goodbye.
Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow,
what a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned,
several seasons with their treasons,
wrapped the babe in scarlet covers, call it your own.
Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye,
talk about your plenty, talk about your ills,
one man gathers what another man spills.
Saint Stephen will remain, all he's lost he shall regain,
seashore walk by the suds and the foam,
been there so long, he's got to calling it home.
Fortune comes a calling, calliope woman,
spinning that curious sense of your own.
Can you answer, "Yes I can"?
but what would be the answer to the answer-man?
High green chilly winds and windy vines
in loops around the twisted shafts of lavender, they're crawling to the sun.
Underfoot the ground is patched
with arms of ivy wrapped around the manzanita, stark and shiny in the breeze.
Wonder who will water all the children of the garden
when they sigh about the barren lack of rain and droop so hungry neath the sky.
William Tell has stretched his bow til it won't stretch
no furthermore and/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.