Monseigneur Plays

A poem by Theodosia Garrison

Monseigneur plays his new gavotte--
Within her gilded chair the Queen
Listens, her rustling maids between;
A very tulip-garden stirred
To hear the fluting of a bird;
Faint sunlight through the casement falls
On cupids painted on the walls
At play with doves. Precisely set
Awaits the slender legged spinet
Expectant of its happy lot,
The while the player stays to twist
The cobweb ruffle from his wrist.
A pause, and then--(Ah, whisper not)
Monseigneur plays his new gavotte.

Monseigneur plays his new gavotte--
Hark, 'tis the faintest dawn of Spring,
So still the dew drops whispering
Is loud upon the violets;
Here in this garden of Pierrettes'
Where Pierrot waits, ah, hasten Sweet,
And hear; on dainty, tripping feet
She comes--the little, glad coquette.
"Ah thou, Pierrot?" "Ah thou, Pierrette?"
A kiss, nay, hear--a bird wakes, then
A silence--and they kiss again,
"Ah, Mesdames, have you quite forgot--"
(So laughs his music.) "Love's first kiss?
Let this note lead you then, and this
Back to that fragrant garden-spot."
Monseigneur plays his new gavotte.

Monseigneur plays his new gavotte--
Ah, hear--in that last note they go
The little lovers laughing so;
Kissing their finger-tips, they dance
From out this gilded room of France.
Adieu! Monseigneur rises now
Ready for compliment and bow,
Playing about his mouth the while
Its cynical, accustomed smile,
Protests and, hand on heart, avers
The patience of his listeners.
"A masterpiece? Ah, surely not."
A grey-eyed maid of honour slips
A long stemmed rose across her lips
And drops it; does he guess her thought?
Monseigneur plays his new gavotte.

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