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Eleanor Farjeon (Элинор Фарджон)

Sylvia Sings

Sylvia said that day,
“I’ll sing if you will play.”
We could deny not anything,
Not even deny to hear her sing
Who like a little spirit lay
Uncertain whether to flutter its wing,
To go or stay.

So though it broke our hearts for pity,
With hidden face one went
To the tinkling instrument,
And one with bended head
Stayed by the bed,
While the small voice sang over and over its ditty:--

“‘Manners make ladies, but not such as these,
Manners make ladies, but not such as these.’
Now again, please!
‘Manners make ladies--
But not such as these.’”

She breathed it long and long
And ah, so low,
Her tiny meaningless song,
For she was pleased to please us so--
But what we said
Sitting beside her bed
I do not know,
There were so many tears to keep unshed.

Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
  1. Three Miles to Penn
  2. Two Choruses from “Merlin in Broceliande”
  3. Sonnets. 12. I hear love answer: Since within the mesh
  4. Sonnets. 14. Now I have love again and life again
  5. “Colin Clout, Come Home again!”

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