The Singing Garden

The Magpie Lark

C.J. Dennis

BY lagoons and reedy places,
Where the little river races,
    By the lips of dreaming pools
    Where the soothing water cools
Many a verdant slope and hollow,
Here my blithesome way I follow.
    Anywhere that waters glisten
    Pause a little while and listen.
You will hear my plaintive note
O’er the placid mirror float—
    Tho’ nought know I of plaint or fret:
    “Pierrot! Pierrette! Pierrot! Pierrette!”

Pierrot am I, light-hearted fellow,
Be the day morose or mellow;
    And Pierrette, my dainty wife,
    Adopts a like gay view of life;
We dance; we dance amid the sedges,
Dance by duplicated edges
    Of the peaceful little ponds;
    Now I bow, and she responds;
And then we dance together there,
Rise aloft, and dance on air;
    Rising, falling, calling yet:
    “Pierrot! Pierrette! Pierrot! Pierrette!”

Thistledown was ne’er so light
As our dainty, dancing flight;
    Gay pied pipers, trim and neat,
    Joy is in our wings, our feet;
Grace is in our every pose . . . 
We dance, we dance till, at day’s close,
    When the pool’s dark mirrors limn
    Twilit glory at the brim—
Trees and opalescent sky—
We dance away; and as we fly
    Our call comes faint and fainter yet:
    “Pierrot! Pierrette! . . . Pierrot! . . . ”

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