Learn More

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Waltz-Quadrille


The band was playing a waltz-quadrille,
I felt as light as a wind-blown feather,
As we floated away, at the caller’s will,
Through the intricate, mazy dance together.
Like mimic armies our lines were meeting,
Slowly advancing, and then retreating,
All decked in their bright array;
And back and forth to the music’s rhyme
We moved together, and all the time
I knew you were going away.

The fold of your strong arm sent a thrill
From heart to brain as we gently glided
Like leaves on the wave of that waltz-quadrille;
Parted, met, and again divided –
You drifting one way, and I another,
Then suddenly turning and facing each other,
Then off in the blithe chasse.
Then airily back to our places swaying,
While every beat of the music seemed saying
That you were going away.

I said to my heart, ‘Let us take our fill
Of mirth, and music, and love, and laughter;
For it all must end with this waltz-quadrille,
And life will never be the same life after.
Oh that the caller might go on calling!
Oh that the music might go on falling
Like a shower of silver spray,
While we whirled on to the vast Forever,
Where no hearts break, and no ties sever,
And no one goes away!

A clamour, a crash, and the band was still,
‘Twas the end of the dream, and the end of the measure:
The last low notes of that waltz-quadrille
Seemed like a dirge o’er the death of Pleasure.
You said good-night, and the spell was over –
Too warm for a friend, and too cold for a lover –
There was nothing else to say;
But the lights looked dim, and the dancers weary,
And the music was sad and the hall was dreary,
After you went away.

Submitted: Friday, May 23, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: music, together, laughter, dance, silver, sad, friend, dream, wind, death, heart, light, life, night

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Waltz-Quadrille by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie John Brothers (9/25/2009 8:31:00 AM)

    Brought to mind the magic of dancing with a partner who you know will be gone after this dance-but who you wished would stay with you forever. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  2. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  7. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  8. Over-Ripe Sushi, Yosa Buson
  9. Christmas Spirit, Paul Moosberg
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]