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forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: Dale Hickey (202.72.148.---)
Date: January 11, 2005 08:11PM

When at school in NSW early 60's (I think primary school) one of the poems we studied was I THINK "Columbine" - about a joker Harlequin.
Loved the poem but cant remember who wrote it - so cant fink it
Please help


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: January 12, 2005 12:31AM

I suppose it wasn't The Seekers' hit song 'The Carnival is Over' which mentioned Pierrot and Columbine:

Say goodbye my own true lover
As we sing a lovers song
How it breaks my heart to leave you
Now the carnival is gone
High above the dawn is waiting
And my tears are falling rain
For the carnival is over
We may never meet again

Like a drum my heart was beating
And your kiss was sweet as wine
But the joys of love are fleeting
For Pierrot and Columbine
Now the harbour light is calling
This will be our last goodbye
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die

Like a drum my heart was beating
And your kiss was sweet as wine
But the joys of love are fleeting
For Pierrot and Columbine
Now the harbour light is calling
This will be our last goodbye
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: January 12, 2005 04:27AM

The story of Harlequin and Columbine is a very old one and has been written and re-written as drama, prose and verse. A quick google only brought up one actual poem which is about the Napoleonic Wars re-wirtten as the Harlequin and Columbine story,is quite good fun, but, I fear, not what you are looking for. [www.rc.umd.edu]

I've never seen the 'straight' story in verse form, but it may well have appeared in one of those anthologies specially written for schools, which we all studied in the 1960s and which consisted of a few well known poems and quite a lot of very pleasant, light verse which never made it beyond that book. If you don't have any success on this and similar sites, I suggest you try browsing in second hand bookshops which often have copies of school anthologies - it's amazing how you recognise a book when you see it again, having completely forgotten its existence.


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 12, 2005 02:56PM

There's a poem called "The Tears of Harlequin" here:
[www.bartleby.com] />
(That's the only poem I found at Bartleby.com that use "Columbine" to mean Harlequin's mate, rather than the climbing plant.)

Perhaps you could write to your old school in NSW and see if one of the current teachers there remember the poem or the book. I bet they'd enjoy hearing from a former student.


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: John Bruce (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: January 25, 2005 04:27PM

Dear Dale,

I think I may have what you want. "When Harlequin was Young" by Ben Ezzell.

I found it in the web by pure chance. Downloaded it, but being a computer illiterate, can't find the site again. Nevermind, I hope this is the poem.

I have sent the full thing as an attchment to you.

It begins;

Harlequin is quiet, gliding down the lane.
Harlequin goes softly, sliding through the rain.
Harlequin is silent,
Harlequin is bold,
And Herlequin never tells what Harleqin is told.

He tweaks the devil's whiskers.
Flirts with the ladies fair
But when you go to seek him,
He's hardly ever there.

Stanzas concerning Columbine commence;

Harl;equin went dancing,
Down at the Harvest Fair,
And there he met seweet Columbine
With flowers in her hair.

Her cheeks were red as roses,
Her hair was soft, soft brown,
She was shod in velvet slippers
And a long green gown.

Well, I hope this has hit the spot.

Best wishes from Dorridge UK

John Bruce


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: John Bruce (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: January 25, 2005 05:15PM

Dear Dale,

After posting the email to you, the site advised me it only accepted certain types of attachments, so, not being certain you have the whole of what you want, here's the poem in full. Anyway, perhaps your other respondants may like to know if this is the real thing.

When Harlequin was Young
Ben Ezzell

Harlequin is quiet, gliding down the lane.
Harlequin goes softly, sliding through the rain.
Harlequin is silent,
Harlequin is bold,
And Harlequin never tells what Harleqin is told.

He tweaks the devil's whiskers.
Flirts with the ladies fair
But when you go to seek him,
He's hardly ever there.

Harlequin wears homespun,
With patches coloured gay,
Cap with bells and tassles,
Boots of leather gray.

He haunts in lady's boudoir,
He taps upon the sash,
And when All Hallows Eve comes round,
He really has a bash.

Harlequin went dancing,
Down at the Harvest Fair,
And there he met sweet Columbine
With flowers in her hair.

Her cheeks were red as roses,
Her hair was soft, soft brown,
She was shod in velvet slippers
And a long green gown.

She danced so light and graceful,
She floated like a dove,
And Harlequin was smitten
With what mortals title love.

The golden moon is glowing,
Frost gives the air a chill,
As Harlequin and Columbine are
Dancing on the hill.

Harlequin danced lightly
.As he'd never danced before,
He danced himself enchanted
And then he danced some more.

At last the dance was over,
The musicians gone away
While silenced filled the meadows
And the darkness truned to gray.

But dawn did not find Harlequin
Alone with Columbine...
For in the shadows, Pirotte
Was watching all the time.

Harlequin loves Columbine
And Columbine Pirotte,
But Harlequin has magic
That never failed him yet.

Thus Harlequin faced Pirotte
And each their rapiers drew,
Facing across a meadow
Silvered with morning's dew.

And Harlequin and Pirotte
Fought an awful fight,
Clashing with silver rapiers
In the dawning light.

Thrust and point and counterpoint;
The blades are flashing fast
Til Harlequin is victor
And Pirotte has lost at last.

Pirotte is sorely wounded,
Columbine could save him still
But Harlequin loves Columbine
And he controls her will.

Yes, Harlequin is sneaky
And Harlequin is sly
But Harlequoin has compassion
Though no-one dares ask why.

So Columbine has Pirotte
And Harlequin is gone
Setting the leaves a-trimble,
Singing a sad sweet song.

Harlequin the joker,
Playing the buffoon
Knows broken hearts are mended
Beneath the autumn moon.

By day, the leaves are full of colour,
The sun is shining bright
And there'll be another Columbine
To dance with him tonight.

Moving like a breeze, gliding down the lane,
Harlequin is whistling a melodic refrain,
Harlequin is silent,
Harlequin is bold
And Harlequin never tells what Harlequin is told.



Please let me know if this is it.


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: January 25, 2005 06:00PM

Harley Quinn is the Joker's girlfriend.

you never know when something like the above may be useful to someone


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 25, 2005 06:55PM

The Tears of Harlequin
---Theodosia Garrison

To you he gave his laughter and his jest,
His words that of all words were merriest,
His glad, mad moments when the lights flared high
And his wild song outshrilled the plaudits' din.
For you that memory, but happier I --
I, who have known the tears of Harlequin.

Not mine those moments when the roses lay
Like red spilled wine on his triumphant way,
And shouts acclaimed him through the music's beat,
Above the voice of flute and violin.
But I have known his hour of sore defeat --
I -- I have known the tears of Harlequin.

Light kisses and light words, they were not mine --
Poor perquisites of many a Columbine
Bought with his laughter, flattered by his jest;
But when despair broke through the painted grin,
His tortured face has fallen on my breast --
I -- I have known the tears of Harlequin.

You weep for him, who look upon him dead,
That joy and jest and merriment are fled;
You weep for him, what time my eyes are dry,
Knowing what peace a weary soul may win
Stifled by too much masking -- even I --
I, who have known the tears of Harlequin.


Les


Re: forgotten poem "Columbine"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 26, 2005 12:09PM

I remember looking this stuff up when I watched an Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot episode that mentioned such characters at a masquerade ball, turning up a wealth of information about the Italian commedia dell'arte:

[en.wikipedia.org] />
The Harlequin and Scaramouche names were familiar to me, but others were new. Made me wonder if the (USA) Columbine High School was named for that servant.




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