Marie

A poem by John Kendall

In Several Keys


We hear the opening refrain,
Marie!
We thought so; here you are again,
Marie!
A simple tune, in simple thirds,
Beloved of after-dinner birds;
A legend, self-condemned as 'words,'
Marie!

She lingers by the flowing tide,
Marie;
A 'fisher-lad' is close beside
Marie;
He gazes in her 'eyes so blue';
Marie, Marie, my heart is true;
And then, - you do, you know you do,
Marie! -

But vain is every mortal wish,
Marie;
And 'fisher-lads' have got to fish,
Marie;
O blinding tears! O cheeks 'so' wet!
Marie, I come again! And yet
I shouldn't feel disposed to bet,
Marie!

A tempest drives across the wave,
Marie;
With triplets in the treble stave,
Marie;
The player pounds. With bulging eyes
Th' excited vocalist replies;
The maddened octaves drown his cries,
Marie!

The storm is past. We hear again,
Marie,
The simple thirds, the waltz refrain,
Marie;
We only see some drifting wrack,
An empty bunk, a battered smack,
Alas! Alas!! Alack!!! Alack!!!!
Marie!

O good old words, O 'tears that rise,'
Marie!
O good young fisher-lad that dies,
Marie!
We leave you on the lonely shore; -
You wave your hands for evermore,
A bleak, disgusted semaphore,
Marie!

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