The Sage And The Woman Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


'Twixt ancient Beersheba and DanA
Another such a caravanA
Dazed Palestine had never seenB
As that which bore Sabea's queenB
Up from the fain and flaming SouthC
To slake her yearning spirit's drouthC
At wisdom's pools with SolomonD
With gifts of scented sandalwoodE
And labdanum and cassia budE
With spicy spoils of ArabyF
And camel loads of ivoryG
And heavy cloths that glanced and shoneH
With inwrought pearl and beryl stoneH
She came a bold Sabean girlI
And did she find him grave or gayJ
Perchance his palace breathed that dayJ
With psalters sounding solemnlyG
Or cymbals' merrier minstrelsyK
Perchance the wearied monarch heardE
Some loose tongued prophet's meddling wordE
None knows no one but SolomonD
She looked with eyne wherein were blentE
All ardors of the OrientE
She spake all magics of the SouthC
Were compassed in the witch's mouthC
He thought the scarlet lips of herL
More precious than En Gedi's myrrhL
The lips of that Sabean girlI
By many an amorous sun caressedE
From lifted brow to amber breastE
She gleamed in vivid lovelinessK
And lithe as any leopardessK
And verily one blames thee notE
If thine own proverbs were forgotE
O Solomon wise SolomonD
She danced for him and surely sheG
Learnt dancing from some moonlit seaG
Where elfin vapors swirled and swayedE
While the wild pipes of witchcraft playedE
Such clutching music 'twould impelM
A prophet's self to dance to hellM
So spun the light Sabean girlI
He swore her laughter had the liltE
Of chiming waters that are spiltE
In sprays of spurted melodyG
From founts of carven porphyryG
And in the billowy turbulenceK
Of her dusk hair drowned soul and senseK
Dark tides and deep O SolomonD
Perchance unto her day belongsK
His poem called the Song of SongsK
Each little lyric intervalN
Timed to her pulse's rise and fallO
Or when he cried out wearilyG
That all things end in vanityG
Did he mean that Sabean girlI
The bright barbaric opulenceK
The sun kist Temple Kedar's tentsK
How many a careless caravanA
'Twixt Beersheba and ruined DanA
Within these forty centuriesK
Has flung their dust to many a breezeK
With dust that was King SolomonD
But still the lesson holds as trueP
O King as when she lessoned youP
That very wise men are not wiseK
Until they read in Folly's eyesK
The wisdom that escapes the schoolsK
That bids the sage revise his rulesK
By light of some Sabean girlI

Don Marquis


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