The Rondeau

Don Marquis

Your rondeau’s tale must still be light—
No bugle-call to life’s stern fight!
  Rather a smiling interlude
  Memorial to some transient mood
Of idle love and gala-night.

Its manner is the merest sleight
O’ hand; yet therein dwells its might,
  For if the heavier touch intrude
    Your rondeau’s stale.

Fragrant and fragile, fleet and bright,
And wing’d with whim, it gleams in flight
  Like April blossoms wind-pursued
  Down aisles of tangled underwood;—
Nor be too serious when you write
    Your rondeau’s tail!

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