I Upon the noon Cassandra died The Harpy preened itself outside. Bank holiday put forth its glamour, And in the wayside station's clamour We found the cafe at the rear, And sat and drank our Pilsener beer. Words smeared upon our wooden faces Now paint them into queer grimaces; The crackling greeneries that spirt Like firworks, mock our souls inert, And we seem feathered like a bird Among the shadows scarcely heard. Beneath her shade-ribbed switchback mane The harpy, breasted like a train, Was haggling with a farmer's wife; "Fresh harpy's eggs, no trace of life." Miss Sitwell, cross and white as chalk, Was indisposed for the small talk; Since, peering through a shadowed door, She saw Cassandra on the floor. II Upon the noon Cassandra died, Harpy soon Screeched outside. Gardener Jupp, In his shed. Counted wooden Carrots red. Black shades pass, Dead-stiff there, On green baize grass - Drink his beer. Bumpkin turnip, Mask limp-locked, White sun frights The gardener shocked. Harpy creaked Her limbs again: I think, she squeaked, It's going to rain!"
Please note: this text, provided here for educational and research use, is in the public domain in Canada, but it may still be copyright in other legal jurisdictions. The LiederNet Archive makes no guarantee that the above text is public domain in your country. Please consult your country's copyright statutes or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain text is in the public domain in your country or if downloading or distributing a copy constitutes fair use. The LiederNet Archive assumes no legal responsibility or liability for the copyright compliance of third parties.First published in Arts and Letters, Spring 1920
- by Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964), "Small talk" [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by William Walton (1902 - 1983), "Small talk", first performed 1922 [ reciter and chamber ensemble ], from Façade [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Dan Eggleston
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 43
Word count: 176