Roderic Quinn

(1867 - 1949 / Australia)

The Song Of The Violin


SHE stood in the curtains played over by light —
The tinted curtains — a tired, sweet girl,
With exquisite arms under laces of white
Like an ivory figure in mother-of-pearl.
I entered; she saw me, but made no move;
To some I nodded, to some replied;
(A violin somewhere was singing of love)
She blushed and paled, and I stood at her side.
I asked for a dance — she shook her head
And laughed like a petted, petulant queen;
She had promised them all to others, she said,
'And you are so late — and where have you been?'
They were talking low in the long, bright room,
And I answered her, moving the blind aside —
'Out there on the lawn in the velvet gloom,
Wooing a woman to make her my bride.'
She suddenly shook like a startled dove;
Ruffled and paled and hung her head
(A violin somewhere was singing of love,
And bitter-sweet were the things it said).
'This heat is stifling!' — she moved away.
'Out here,' I whispered, 'and hark to the tide!'
'The woman — where is she?' I heard her say;
'Now show me the woman you wooed for a bride.'
'Here on the land — and there on the sea,
Her feet among roses, her head in the skies;
And now do you see her?' She whispered 'I see,'
Her hand on my shoulder, a laugh in her eyes.
'Do you love her — this lady so mystical, fine?
I dwindle before her, a plain little miss;
She has stars in her hair — only roses in mine;
But the Night has no heart, and the Night cannot kiss.'
'Not now, if you please, sir!' — a moment she strove —
The curve of my arm softly circled her head . . .
A violin somewhere was singing of love,
And sweet beyond all were the things it said.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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