Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Old Town Types No. 29 - Miss Trapp, The Music Teacher - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

'One-and-two-and-three-and-four
You're playing it by ear, boy! Eyes upon the score!'
Miss Trapp, the music teacher, very prim and staid,
English and respectable, the town's old maid,
Sitting in her 'front room,' elderly and stern,
While a grubby urchin struggles with the notes he'll never learn.
'One-and-two-and-one-and-two
You're playing it at random! This will nevah, nevah do!'

No one knew her history or why she settled down
To 'Singing and Pianoforte' in our old town;
With her soft voice and grey dress, the folk called her 'The Dove;'
And the story somehow got about that she'd been 'crossed in love.'
And so, her fancied tragedy clothed her in vague romance
'So well-connected, too, my dear. You'd see that that a glance'
With her 'One-and-two-and - Oh, you stupid child!'
And the rap upon the knuckles was both lady-like and mild.

She sang at local concerts in a cultured voice and thin,
And the back seats applauded her with many a covert grin:
'Her voice is gettin' rusty; but the ole girl does her best.'
But the front seats said, 'Beautiful! How training stands the test!'
Yet all combined, in kindliness with varied tact displayed,
To make the path no thornier for our old maid,
Whose spinsterhood was quite an institution in the town,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' And then she let us down.

For years she'd dwelt among us - our one 'lady,' prim and pure.
In her neat dove-grey dress, and manner most demure,
A regular museum piece, who knew just what was 'done.'
And then an English 'toff' came up to say to Connor's run.
Rich, it was said, and elderly; and, to the town's dismay,
He took and married our old-maid and hastened her away,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' Of culture now bereft,
The town's 'tone' departed when our music teacher left.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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