In Divers Tones

by Charles G.D. Roberts

Edited by Tracy Ware


 

LA BELLE TROMBONISTE


 

How grave she sits and toots
             In the glare!
From her dainty bits of boots
             To her hair
Not the sign remotest shows
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If she either cares or knows
How the beer-imbibing beaux
             Sit and stare.

They’re most prodigal with sighs,
             Or they laugh;

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Or they cast adoring eyes
             As they quaff.
They exert their every wile
Her attention to beguile.
Do they ever win a smile?
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             Not by half!

She leans upon her chin
             (Not a toot!),
While the leading violin
             And the flute

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Wail and plead in low duet
Till, it may be, eyes are wet.
She her trombone doth forget—
             She is mute.

The music louder grows;

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             She’s awake!
She applies her lips and blows—
             Goodness sake! . . . . .
To think that such a peal
From such throat and frame ideal,
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From such tender lips could steal—
             Takes the cake!

The dinning cymbals shrill
             Kiss and clash.
Drum and kettle-drum at will

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             Roll and crash.
But that trombone over all
Toots unto my heart a call;—
Maid petite, and trombone tall—
             It’s a mash!
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Yet, I hesitate—for lo,
             What a pout!
She’s poetic; and I know
             I am stout.
In her little room would she
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On her trombone, tenderly,
Sit and toot as thus to me?—
             Ah, I doubt!