Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ECCLESIASTES, by MORRIS GILBERT BISHOP

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ECCLESIASTES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In the smoke-blue cabaret
Last Line: "and whose hands are bands.'"
Subject(s): Singing & Singers; Songs

In the smoke-blue cabaret
She sang some comic thing:
I heeded not at all
Till "Sing!" she cried, "Sing!"
So I sang in tune with her
The only song I know:
"The doors shall be shut in the streets,
And the daughters of music brought low."

Her eyes and working lips
Gleamed through the cruddled air --
I tried to sing with her
Her song of devil-may-care.
But in the shouted chorus
My lips would not be stilled:
"The rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not filled."

Then one came to my table
Who said, with a laughing glance,
"If that is the way you sing,
Why don't you learn to dance?"
But I said: "With this one song
My heart and lips are cumbered --
'The crooked cannot be made straight,
Nor that which is wanting, numbered.'

"This song must I sing,
Whatever else I covet --
Hear the end of my song,
Hear the beginning of it:
'More bitter than death the woman
(Beside me still she stands)
Whose heart is snares and nets,
And whose hands are bands.'"

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