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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


The Beautiful Blue Danube


[With "Blue Danube Waltz" as musical accompaniment.]

They drift down the hall together,
   He smiles in her lifted eyes;
Like waves of that mighty river,
   The strains of the "Danube" rise.
They float on its rhythmic measure,
   Like leaves on a summer stream;
And here, in this scene of pleasure,
   I bury my sweet, dead dream.

Through the cloud of her dusky tresses,
   Like a star shines out her face;
And the form his strong arm presses,
   Is sylph-like in its grace.
As a leaf on the bounding river
   Is lost in the seething sea,
I know that for ever and ever
  My dream is lost to me.

And still the viols are playing
   That grand old wordless rhyme;
And still those two are swaying
   In perfect tune and time.
If the great bassoons that mutter,
   If the clarinets that blow,
Were given a voice to utter
   The secret things they know,

Would the lists of the slain who slumber
   On the Danube's battle-plains
The unknown hosts outnumber
   Who die, 'neath the "Danube's" strains
Those fall where cannons rattle,
   'Mid the rain of shot and shell;
But these, in fiercer battle,
   Find death in the music's swell.

With the river's roar of passion
   Is blended the dying groan;
But here, in the halls of fashion,
   Hearts break and make no moan.
And the music, swelling and sweeping,
   Like the river, knows it all;
But none are counting or keeping
   The lists of those who fall. 



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. At Forty-Eight
  3. Artist and Man
  4. As by Fire
  5. But a Dream


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