We Danced away Care

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We Danced away Care
written by John Masefield
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We danced away care till the fiddler's eyes blinked,
And at supper, at midnight, our wine-glasses chinked;
Then we danced till the roses that hung round the wall
Were broken red petals that did rise and did fall
To the ever-turning couples of the bright-eyed and gay,
Singing in the midnight to dance care away.

Then the dancing died out and the carriages came,
And the beauties took their cloaks and the men did the same,
And the wheels crunched the gravel and the lights were turned down,
And the tired beauties dozed through the cold drive to town.

Nan was the belle and she married her beau,
Who drank, and then beat her, and she died long ago;
And Mary, her sister, is married and gone
To a tea planter's lodge, in the plains, in Ceylon.

And Dorothy's sons have been killed out in France,
And May lost her man in the August advance,
And Em the man jilted, and she lives all alone
In the house of this dance which seems burnt in my bone.

Margaret and Susan and Marian and Phyllis,
With red lips laughing and the beauty of lilies,
And the grace of wild swans and a wonder of bright hair,
Dancing among roses with petals in the air -

All, all are gone, and Hetty's little maid
Is so like her mother that it makes me afraid.
And Rosalind's son, whom I passed in the street,
Clinked on the pavement with the spurs on his feet.


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