Rhymes For Gloriana
Poem by Vachel Lindsay
I. THE DOLL UPON THE TOPMOST BOUGH
This doll upon the topmost bough,
This playmate-gift, in Christmas dress,
Was taken down and brought to me
One sleety night most comfortless.
Her hair was gold, her dolly-sash
Was gray brocade, most good to see.
The dear toy laughed, and I forgot
The ill the new year promised me.
II. ON SUDDENLY RECEIVING A CURL LONG REFUSED
Oh, saucy gold circle of fairyland silk —
Impudent, intimate, delicate treasure:
A noose for my heart and a ring for my finger: —
Here in my study you sing me a measure.
Whimsy and song in my little gray study!
Words out of wonderland, praising her fineness,
Touched with her pulsating, delicate laughter,
Saying, "The girl is all daring and kindness!"
Saying, "Her soul is all feminine gameness,
Trusting her insights, ardent for living;
She would be weeping with me and be laughing,
A thoroughbred, joyous receiving and giving!"
III. ON RECEIVING ONE OF GLORIANA'S LETTERS
Your pen needs but a ruffle
To be Pavlova whirling.
It surely is a scalawag
A-scamping down the page.
A pretty little May-wind
The morning buds uncurling.
And then the white sweet Russian,
The dancer of the age.
Your pen's the Queen of Sheba,
Such serious questions bringing,
That merry rascal Solomon
Would show a sober face: —
And then again Pavlova
To set our spirits singing,
The snowy-swan bacchante
All glamour, glee and grace.
IV. IN PRAISE OF GLORIANA'S REMARKABLE GOLDEN HAIR
The gleaming head of one fine friend
Is bent above my little song,
So through the treasure-pits of Heaven
In fancy's shoes, I march along.
I wander, seek and peer and ponder
In Splendor's last ensnaring lair—
'Mid burnished harps and burnished crowns
Where noble chariots gleam and flare:
Amid the spirit-coins and gems,
The plates and cups and helms of fire—
The gorgeous-treasure-pits of Heaven—
Where angel-misers slake desire!
O endless treasure-pits of gold
Where silly angel-men make mirth—
I think that I am there this hour,
Though walking in the ways of earth!
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