Scene Set to Music

Scene Set to Music

Place de
la Gare, Charleville

On the square
which is chopped into mean little plots of grass,

the square where all is just so, both the trees and the flowers,

all the wheezy townsfolk whom the heat chokes bring,

each Thursday evening, their envious silliness.

The military band, in the middle of the gardens,

swing their shakos in the Waltz of the Fifes: round about,

near the front rows, the town dandy struts;

the notary hangs like a charm from his own watch chain.

Private incomes in pince-nez point out all the false notes:

great counting-house desks, bloated, drag their stout spouses –

close by whom, like bustling elephant keepers,

walk females whose flounces remind you of sales.