Christopher Morley(5 May 1890 - 28 March 1957 / Haverford, Pennslyvania)
The Music Box
- by Christopher Morley26
AT six-long ere the wintry dawn- There sounded through the silent hall To where I lay, with blankets drawn Above my ears, a plaintive call.
The Urchin, in the eagerness Of three years old, could not refrain; Awake, he straightway yearned to dress And frolic with his clockwork train.
I heard him with a sullen shock. His sister, by her usual plan, Had piped us aft at 3 o'clock- I vowed to quench the little man.
I leaned above him, somewhat stern, And spoke, I fear, with emphasis- Ah, how much better, parents learn, To seal one's sensure with a kiss!
Again the house was dark and still, Again I lay in slumber's snare, When down the hall I heard a trill, A tiny, tinkling, tuneful air-
His music-box! His best-loved toy, His crib companion every night; And now he turned to it for joy While waiting for the lagging light.
How clear, and how absurdly sad Those tingling pricks of sound unrolled; They chirped and quavered, as the lad His lonely little heart consoled.
Columbia, the Ocean's Gem- (Its only tune) shrilled sweet and faint. He cranked the chimes, admiring them, In vigil gay, without complaint.
The treble music piped and stirred, The leaping air that was his bliss; And, as I most contritely heard, I thanked the all-unconscious Swiss!
The needled jets of melody Rang slowlier and died away- The Urchin slept; and it was I Who lay and waited for the day.
The Old Swimmer
- by Christopher Morley25
I OFTEN wander on the beach Where once, so brown of limb, The biting air, the roaring surf Summoned me to swim.
I see my old abundant youth Whee combers lean and spill, And though I taste the foam no more Other swimmers will.
Oh, good exultant strength to meet The arching wall of green, To break the crystal, swirl, emerge Dripping, taut, and clean.
To climb the moving hilly blue, To dive in ecstasy And feel the salty chill embrace Arm and rib and knee.
What brave and vanished laughter then And tingling thighs to run, What warm and comfortable sands Dreaming in the sun.
The crumbling water spreads in snow, The surf is hissing still, And though I kiss the salt no more, Other swimmers will.
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