The soldier standing true and tall
Come to heed the maiden's call
An answer to unspoken prayers
Leaves a battle, finds her there

Up beyond the play of shadows
On the kitchen wall there are stains
An apparition of the moment
Now become the ragged man

But dressed in tattered armor
Fitting like deciphered runes
Waiting silent for the question
Where're the healing, where're the wounds

She offers up a glass of wine
Bitter chamomile and thyme
Toast the water, wind, and fire
Though the earth held her desire

Out beyond the water's edge
An hour shifts slowly into sand
Words race forward
The precipice leads the poet's hand

The ragged man, refusing solace
Turns slowly to the east
And takes the silence deep within
The still howling of the beast

You're breaking into song again
I heard you whistle in the wind
Feet to tap, bugles call
Leading summer into fall

And out beyond the hedgerows
The moon lies naked in the fields
Casting broken shadows
On the rusted wagon wheels

The ragged man will pause,
Pull his half sword from its sheathe
And gently lay the broken blade
In supplication at her feet

Stars wheel through their course again
Chart the fate of gods and men
Topple kings and fools and knaves
As they go laughing to their graves

Out beyond the garden walls
Nothing's settled but the dew
The ragged man will pause
and shed a tear for me and you

He brings his right hand to his forehead,
A farewell sad salute
A shoulder in confusion's crux,
Stumbles onward, deaf and mute

Lyrics submitted by viranh

The Ragged Man song meanings
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