Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PLUMS, by ALPHONSE DAUDET



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THE PLUMS, by            
First Line: Well, since you ask me, this is how
Last Line: We fell in love -- it was the plums!
Subject(s): Birds; Love - Beginnings; Orchards; Plums; Plum Trees


WELL, since you ask me, this is how
We fell in love -- it was the plums!
Perhaps you'd like to hear it now?
Well, since you ask me, this is how
Love came to hear our whispered vow
As dawn or dark or twilight comes.
Yes, in a nutshell, this is how
We fell in love -- it was the plums!

My uncle had an orchard then;
I had a cousin too, you know.
We loved, not caring why or when;
My uncle had an orchard then,
And every day came thrush and wren
To eat the cherry, quince and sloe.
My uncle had an orchard then;
I had a cousin too, you know.

One morning as we loitered there,
My tiny self and Mariette,
So pretty, sweet and debonair,
One morning as we loitered there
The green musicians hummed an air
Among the grasses tall and wet,
One morning as we loitered there,
My tiny self and Mariette.

Beneath, above and roundabout
The little birds sang in the trees;
Fa-la-la-la they fluted out,
Beneath, above and roundabout.
'Twas summer's wedding day, no doubt,
And daffodils danced in the breeze.
Beneath, above and roundabout
The little birds sang in the trees.

Her bonnet looped o'er lovely eyes,
Alive to cozen or coquet;
She flounced and flirted like the flies;
Her bonnet looped o'er lovely eyes.
Like shuttlecock I saw her rise,
With battledore's resistance met.
Her bonnet looped o'er lovely eyes,
Alive to cozen or coquet.

There, at the orchard's farthest end,
My pretty cousin eyes the plums.
I wonder what her looks portend
There, at the orchard's farthest end!
The bough is low and light to bend
And lighter still it soon becomes.
There, at the orchard's farthest end,
My pretty cousin eyes the plums.

I see a plum between her lips
(Ah, Mariette!) "Bite too!" says she.
My heart in pace my mind outstrips;
I see a plum between her lips;
Her teeth are purple at the tips
With fringe of fragile filigree.
I see a plum between her lips
(Ah, Mariette!) "Bite too!" says she

A phrase of little worth -- but, oh,
That purple plum said many things.
(Had I known then what now I know. . . )
A phrase of little worth -- but, oh,
Her rosy lips! I was not slow
To follow in her furrowings.
A phrase of little worth -- but, oh,
That purple plum said many things.

To the Maidens

So, gentle maidens, that was how
We fell in love -- it was the plums!
Believe it true, for I avow,
O gentle maidens, that was how
Love came to us. If, haply, now
A doubt your credence overcomes,
I can no more, since that was how
We fell in love -- it was the plums!





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