Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 2/Practising


Practising, practising.” Well, if you’re doing it,
Why snub me with answer so tart?
Since to a friend superficially viewing it
Practice appears, Jane, a wonderful art.

Nonsense!” Most likely, you petulant cousin,
Yet you’ve a mystery under your eyes;
Gloves on it, Jenny-bird? Bet you a dozen,
Five and three-quarters, I know, is the size.

Tease.” No I’m not, Jane. I’m humbly requesting
Small explanations I think you might deign:
Surely, the one-sided bet I’m suggesting
Means that I’ll pay for my lesson, Miss Jane.

Well, what’s the wonder? The music before us
Is plain enough, certainly. Out of Lurline.
The exquisite air that leads up to the chorus
Where Rudolph—Grimaces, sir! What do they mean?”

Pracisting the Piano (Millais).png

Don’t say grimaces, but hasten to solace
Fear I begin to have, Jane, for my sight:
I really can’t see, in the scoring of Wallace,
Half that you’ll do when you sing this to-night.

Where does he tell you, the moment you’re seated,
Give a half-smiling, half-terrified glance:
Where is it written, Jane—Here be repeated
I’m sure they’d be much more delighted to dance?

Where does he say that though knowing how well you’d
Accomplish the song, you must daintily moan
I have really no voice; and then, skimming the prelude,
Fling out a rich note that Alboni might own?

Where is the least kind of mark or direction
Give, yet don’t give, a sweet look—you know where:
Is it done at “devoted,” or done at “affection,”
Or here, where Lurline’s in a trance of despair?

When that same Party, restoring your flowers,
Mumbles and mutters the compliment due,
Jane, I don’t read in this music of ours,
I always sing well when I’m singing to you.

Practising, practising! Tears—overquick
Sure one may tease when one—cousinly-loves!
I think Charley Churchill no end of a brick, child,
And—kiss me for bringing them—here are the gloves.

Shirley Brooks.